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Stu Visser retiring from Ottawa County Board of Commissioners

By Caleb Whitmer/The Holland Sentinel • Dec 15, 2016 at 11:00 AM

Ottawa County Commissioner Stu Visser opted not to run for a fourth two-year term representing Port Sheldon Township, Park Township and part of the City of Holland.

His last term ends at the end of the year.

On Tuesday, the board recognized Visser for his service. Board Chairman Joe Baumann read a resolution listing off the various committees chaired by Visser during his time on the board and thanked him for his work.

"His good judgment and leadership have been consistently relied upon by his colleagues and the residents of Ottawa County," Baumann read.

Visser was Park Township's supervisor for 22 years prior to his first election to the county board in 2010.

"I might as well recognize that it is hard to leave," he told the rest of the county board Tuesday. "But I also think it's time to recognize that, at 82 years old, it's probably time for someone else's turn. Thank you very much for all the support."

After Visser's brief remarks, the board celebrated with a cake and coffee reception.

Former Holland Public Schools Superintendent Frank Garcia, who will replace Visser as the 1st District commissioner, steps into his new office at the beginning of the new year.

In other news from the county commissioners, the board gave its approval to several agreements that will allow the County Parks and Recreation Department to begin construction on the first segment of a bike path park planners hope will connect Grand Haven to Kent County.

The 10-foot-wide, 3.9-mile paved path will connect Connor Bayou to Riverside Park. Eventually, this segment will be part of a 30-mile trail, which park planners hope to have done within five years, County Parks Director John Scholtz said.

This first segment, which includes a trailhead and parking area at the intersection of North Cedar Drive and M-231 in Robinson Township, will cost $1.7 million. A grant will cover $1.24 million of the project, with a local match of $470,000. That money, Scholtz said, will come from the county parks millage besides a $50,000 contribution from Robinson Township.

Most of this section of the path will go along the right of way for North Cedar Drive.

Construction is planned for 2017.

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