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City takes next step toward snowmelt expansion

Alex Doty • Jan 5, 2018 at 10:00 AM

The city has entered into the next stage of assessing the possibility of installing snowmelt along a portion of Harbor Drive as part of an upcoming infrastructure enhancement project.

Grand Haven City Council on Tuesday night directed the city manager to prepare a survey and report that shows the proposed snowmelt expansion and its necessity, the project location, an estimate of the life of the improvement, an estimate of the cost, and how the cost might be spread on a special assessment roll.

“You have to get the information and you have to talk to the folks that will be investing in it,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said. “That’s the only way to find out.”

All affected property owners would be notified by the city of a public hearing that may be scheduled in the event City Council finds the report acceptable.

“I have talked with a majority of the property owners,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “They all said it depends what it costs per year.”

During a December 2017 City Council meeting, it was reported that a study by engineering firm GMB noted that it would cost an estimated $155,000 to place snowmelt within the sidewalk, curb and gutter between Franklin and Washington avenues as a part of the upcoming Harbor Drive infrastructure project.

“What seemed to make the most sense was doing the sidewalk from Washington Avenue to Franklin,” McGinnis said.

The planned snowmelt extension would go 130 feet in front of The Kirby House, 112 feet in front of the Zephyr building, 132 feet in front of the Chamber of Commerce/Grand Haven Area Community Foundation offices, and 165 feet in front of the 1 S. Harbor Ave. parking lot. City officials say they may also include “stubs” in the expansion in the event that the system is expanded in the future.

The City Council also on Tuesday night approved a similar measure that looks into the prospect of burying the power lines along Harbor Drive, between Columbus and Howard avenues, as a part of the Harbor Drive infrastructure project. Similar to the snowmelt survey and report, all affected property owners would be notified by the city of a public hearing that would be scheduled if City Council finds the report acceptable.

The Harbor Drive project is made possible by a $1.15 million grant from the Michigan Strategic Fund, which was awarded last year. The project will include the reconstruction of the road between Franklin and Columbus, and replacement of sanitary and storm sewer, and water lines.

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