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ASHLAND - The Ore Dock project has been talked about for years and though most in the city supported it, some had strong reasons against it.
The long process of approving the transfer of the Canadian National Ore Dock is over, leaving many excited for the future of Ashland.
"It's a wonderful opportunity that you just have to take it. You just do," said Ashland Mayor Bill Whalen.
The Ashland City Council approved the transfer Tuesday night with a vote of 6-5.
The city gets $3.25 million, the ore dock base and all lands owned by CN within Ashland.
That money will be put into a trust so it can't be used for general funds.
Whalen said Waterfront Harbor Funds are available.
"If we could leverage that 3 million dollars at 20% that's a 15 million dollar grant, we could do a lot with this pier," said Whalen.
Mayor Bill Whalen says there are many uses for the pier.
"We'll be able to have cruise ships tied up here, we might be able to winter-over freighters during the wintertime. You could put four 1,000 footers there and service them," Whalen said.
With 11 miles of trails in Ashland, the Mayor says this pier will just add to the possibilities for tourists.
"You can bike, you can walk, you can skate, you tie all this together you give tourists something to do, something to have a great time with," said Whalen.
Many locals are excited about this new development, but city councilor Joyce Kabasa has lived near the Ore Dock for almost 50 years and has some questions.
"How are we going to maintain that when our streets, our sewage system, super fund right down here. We've got too much going on," said Kabasa.
Kabasa has loved the activity she sees around the ore dock, but doesn't think the money is worth risking.
"Memories are not going to pay these bills. If they want a fishing pier there's one right there," said Kabasa.
Kabasa's biggest concern is the possibility the core of engineers will want it removed.
That could cost the city about $22 million.
"I looked at it every day of my life here, but push comes to shove. If it was my pocketbook, I have to say no," added Kabasa.