Kewaunee receives grant to improve moorings for historic World War II tugboat
KEWAUNEE – The city was named to receive a $249,000 grant from the state's Harbor Assistance Program to improve the home of the historic tugboat in its harbor.
City Administrator Steve Kubacki said the funds are earmarked to upgrade moorings for the Tug Ludington, the World War II vessel that's docked in Harbor Park that's. The tug is on the National and State Registers of Historic Places and is a popular tourist attraction on downtown's Lake Michigan shoreline from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day.
Launched in 1943 as the Maj. Wilbur F. Browder, the tug participated in the D-Day invasion of Normandy by towing ammunition barges across the English Channel. For the rest of the war, it performed other operations in France and England, then was stationed in Norfolk, Virginia for towing missions.
The vessel was transferred to Kewaunee in 1947 and renamed the Tug Ludington. It was used to help construct and maintain many harbors on the Great Lakes by towing a wide variety of floating equipment. It is estimated that the tug has hauled more than 1 million tons of cargo.
Kubacki said the grant, which comes from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation and Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, requires a local match, and the city needs to come up with $62,000 on its end.
On a related note, Kubacki said the city received a $40,000 grant to upgrade its harbor and marina plan, looking specifically at nine or 10 projects within the plan. He said the city is discussing its next steps.
"We want to make sure we get all our ducks in a row to upgrade our harbor and make it the shining star that it is," he said.
The $249,000 awarded to Kewaunee was one of six Harbor Assistance Program grants totaling $9.4 million announced last week. The program, which has been in existence since 1979, seeks to improve the infrastructure of shipping industries and promote economic development in harbor communities.
More than half of the $9.4 million went to two projects for agricultural shipping: $3.38 million to DeLong Co. for the final stage of a $36 million agricultural maritime export facility on Port Milwaukee property, and $2 million to Hanke Terminals for an agricultural commodity transloading facility (to transfer cargo from one form of transport to another, such as from ship to truck) in La Crosse.
Other grants went to Port Milwaukee, $1.175 million for degraded dock wall repair; Port of Green Bay, $1.1 million to stabilize a shoreline and build a dock wall at the mouth of the Fox River; and the City of Superior/C. Reiss Coal, $1.5 million to upgrade an existing dock wall and dredge St. Louis Bay to create a bulk materials transload facility.
Contact Christopher Clough at 920-741-7952, 920-562-8900 or [email protected].
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This article originally appeared on Green Bay Press-Gazette: Kewaunee receives grant to improve moorings for historic World War II tugboat