City Council applied for two grants from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund — one to fund part of the Waterfront Stadium project and the other for improvements at Mulligan’s Hollow.
In total, the city is asking for $300,000 from the state’s Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to help pay for Waterfront Stadium improvements.
“The scope is just for the amphitheater — that grassy terrace area,” Assistant to the City Manager Vester Davis said.
If the city is successful with its grant application, the funding would reduce the overall project cost by up to 32 percent. A local match of 68 percent, or $654,900, would be needed to meet the total estimated project cost of $954,900.
“Hopefully, the state of Michigan recognizes the recreational opportunities that Waterfront Stadium has provided, and will provide going forward,” Davis said.
City Manager Pat McGinnis noted that the amphitheater project is just a portion of the overall work to be done at Waterfront Stadium.
“We all know the whole project will be in the $4 million-plus range,” he said.
Earlier this year, City Council approved concept plans for a redeveloped stadium, a result of dozens of meetings with input from people who frequent the stadium and from disability and senior citizen advocates.
The stadium-style bleachers would be replaced with tiered seating built into the landscape, and a park-like setting that's usable year-round would be created.
Grand Haven resident Bob Warren was supportive of the city’s application for grant funding to improve Waterfront Stadium.
“I think this is one more step toward a goal we’ve been shooting at for a while,” he said.
The city also applied for $300,000 to help pay for improvements in its Mulligan’s Hollow Recreational Area. Combined with a 37 percent match from the city, the grant would help cover an estimated $482,700 project that would create about 134 new parking spots.
“Back in 2011, we had a Mulligan’s Hollow vision plan, and this is what that project stated,” Davis said. “Recently, we removed (old BLP) storage tanks, which made more space available.”
Davis said he hopes those administering the grant funds will see the project as a benefit and be supportive.
McGinnis said the city hopes to receive money for both projects, but noted that the stadium upgrade is the preferred project if it comes down to having a choice between the two.
“This (Mulligan’s Hollow grant) would be the subservient one,” he said, noting that City Council would likely apply for funding again next year for the Mulligan’s Hollow project if it isn’t approved.