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A contractor will begin an almost $700,000 paving project at the Seward Marine Industrial Center this spring, with the aim of surfacing up to 75,000 square feet at the city-owned boat yard by June 15.

The Seward City Council approved the expenditure at a special meeting on Wednesday. The money comes from a substantial state grant that has paid for a bevy of improvements at SMIC, including the breakwater, a crane, a new float, and modifications to the city’s 330-ton boat lift and associated lift pit.

Over $800,000 of that grant remain, said Harbormaster and Acting City Manager Norm Regis. The grant expires at the end of June, leaving the city with limited time to take advantage of the remaining funds.

The areas to be paved lie mostly on the bay side of SMIC, beginning with the north dock where Spartan Rig 151 had been moored until the middle of summer 2018. The dock is accessible from Nash Road.

The project also includes paving the path between the lift pit just south of Polar Seafoods to the SMIC wash-down pad, routinely used by the city-owned boat lift.