BY BENJAMIN J. GOHS, NEWS EDITOR
Plans to erect a life-sized bronze statue of a logger at the edge of the Boyne River are flowing along.
Boyne City Main Street Program officials received approval to go ahead on the next phase of the project from the Boyne City Commission on Tuesday Oct. 27.
“We have filled out an application for the process,” said Andy Poineau, of the architectural design firm Woodworker, Inc. of East Jordan, who is managing the engineering and installation of the statue project. “It’s actually a minor project, we hope. It involves five steel pilings in the bottom of the river—four of the pilings are up above all-time high-water; one of them is in the bottom of the river.”
The $50,000 bronze artwork—entitled “The Last Draw”— is aimed at immortalizing the area’s timber history.
The sculpture, proposed by the Boyne City Main Street Program Design Committee, will depict a logger pulling a log out of the river with a pike pole.
One of the statue’s logs will float freely in the water.
Special permission from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality will be needed.
“It does require a permit both from the corps and from the DEQ,” Poineau said. “It’s pretty straight-forward. I don’t anticipate any issues.”
He added, “The question about whether it interferes with recreational traffic on the river could be raised. I don’t anticipate that being a big issue, either. The river is pretty wide there.”
Poineau said, after inspecting the river, the proposed location is the best spot for the piece of art. It would be located directly across the street from the Parkside Grill & Treats restaurant located at 201 Water St. in Boyne City.
The statue would extend approximately 40 inches into the river.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) has encouraged Boyne City to apply for a matching grant through “Patronicity,” a program developed by the MEDC and the Michigan Municipal League as an online “crowdfunding” program.
According to Boyne City Main Street Program Executive Director Lori Meeder, the plan is to fund the statue with $25,000 in local donations and a $25,000 MEDC grant.
When the idea was presented to the Boyne City Commission in recent weeks, Meeder had indicated some local support already existed for the project.
The commission voted unanimously to approve the request to apply for the permits and the grant(s) involved.