WI lawmakers celebrate $2.9 million grant to boost work, jobs at Fraser Shipyard

By KBJR News 1

June 6, 2014 Updated Jun 6, 2014 at 6:42 PM CDT

Superior, WI (NNCNOW.com) - Wisconsin lawmakers are celebrating alongside officials at Fraser Shipyard in Superior for acquiring $2.9 million to complete the final phase of a major dock project.

The three phase project began in 2010 after a $3.7 million grant was secured for retaining wall improvements, and dredging around the shipyard.

The final phase will begin this summer, and will include 580 lineal feet of new or improved dock wall

Shipyard Director of Operations Tom Curelli says, on average, 150 to 170 people are working on ships in lay–up during winter months, but last winter says 365 people were on the job.

Curelli credits past project improvements for the growth, and says the latest phase could mean anywhere from two to four additional ships along the improved dock.

"Every boat that sits here in the water is 40–50 people employed, so the more parking spaces, the more people become employed," said Curelli with lawmakers at his side Friday, "and we like that; that's what we want to do, that's what we're here for."

"We pay taxes as citizens of Northern Wisconsin, and Superior, Wisconsin to go to Washington D.C.," said Sen. Bob Jauch, "what you're seeing is the return of those tax dollars back here."

Along with the $2.9 million Harbor Assistance Grant, Fraser Shipyard is also investing $700,000 to complete the project.

Billy Wagness