The city of Superior is submitting a grant application to the state on behalf of Fraser Shipyards.
Superior’s City Council adopted a resolution Tuesday, July 16, that authorizes city officials to seek a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation Harbor Assistance Program.
The program was created in 1979 by the Wisconsin Legislature to assist harbor communities with maintaining infrastructure such as docks, moorings and dredging.
The grant would support the shipyard’s long-term goal of rehabilitating Dry Dock No. 1 to support vessels with deeper drafts and longer lengths.
The project will be conducted in two phases. In the first phase, the existing dock facilities will be prepared to address known safety and electric code issue, re-route the pump-house outlet to Dry Dock No. 2, and performing an in-depth study of the existing electrical system to allow further improvements during the second phase of the project.
The first phase of the project is estimated to cost about $4.1 million.
The Harbor Assistance Program would contribute up to $3.3 million to the project if the grant application is successful. There is no cost to the city, according to Jason Serck, economic development, port and planning director.
“This allows the shipyard to prepare itself for the future,” said James Farkus, president and chief operating officer for Fraser Industries, which includes the shipyard.
Farkus noted that U.S. Rep. Pete Stauber, R-Minn., introduced an amendment to legislation that would expand the type of shipyards that are allowed to maintain naval ships. Stauber’s amendment, which passed in the U.S. House of Representatives last week, would allow non-coastal shipyards like Fraser an opportunity to work on ships for the U.S. Navy.
“We have many third-generation folks working at the shipyard and many of these folks would like to have their families carry on and have a fourth generation there as well,” Farkus said.
Fraser Shipyard has twice received the Harbor Assistance Grant, in 2010 and 2014, as it implemented a three-phase project to repair and extend its dock wall. A $3.7 million grant was awarded for the first phase of the project and a $2.9 million grant was awarded for the third phase.