Greenway nearly complete

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:11 AM

five of the eight planned floating docks are in place at the village’s Mill Point Park and the fishing platform is about halfway finished. The new restroom facilities are nearing completion and the old bathroom building will be demolished on Monday, according to Cotton.

“The boardwalk is almost done,” Cotton said of the wooden walkway through the wetlands at Mill Point Preserve, just west of Mill Point Park. “On Tuesday, they’ll be doing the (base course) pavement — weather permitting.”

New shrubs, native wetland plants and grass are scheduled for planting yet this fall, he said.

“We’ll be using a special type of seeding that’s a fast germination seed mix,” Cotton said. “It’s a type that can be planted late in the season.”

The $1.25 million Greenway runs from just east of Village Cove Marina to the intersection of Division and Exchange streets, and includes scenic wetland and water overlooks. It is being funded by a $465,000 grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, made possible by state oil and gas royalties that were pledged to recreational projects.

Downtown taxes are paying $155,000 toward the project and Friends of the Grand River Greenway donations have kicked in more than $190,000, according to Cotton.

Moving five floating docks from Tanglefoot Park to Mill Point Park instead of constructing new ones saved about $55,000 in project costs, according to Cotton. That helps make up for about $40,000 in additional fees for hauling 1,125 cubic yards ofcontaminated soil to a Coopersville landfill, and $52,000 in extra costs for needing longer-than-expected boardwalk helical piles.

Last month, Village Council approved a $9,600 budget adjustment to help pay for the overages.

Village Councilman Mark Miller, who is also chairman of the Spring Lake Wooden Boat Show, inspected the docks Thursday afternoon and said he was pleased with the progress. The docks will be used for the annual boat show and free transient mooring for seasonal boaters.

“I think they look fantastic,” said Miller, standing on the grass at Mill Point Park. “They should work really well for us.”

Village President Bill Filber said he’s amazed at the support the project has generated.

“It’s amazing what a team can pull off when we work together for the betterment of the community,” Filber said. “This is something that’s going to benefit so many people and children for years to come.

“When you look back 60 or 80 years when that area was being used as a dump, this is a real improvement,” he continued. “We took something that was basically unusable and made it usable and attractive, and I think that is amazing.”

Filber said the state grants and community donations are impressive.

“For a small community the size of the Village of Spring Lake to pull off getting a grant for this, and the way people are donating thousands of dollars, it builds community pride,” he said. “I’m very excited to be a part of this.”

The opening celebration is scheduled for 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15, at Mill Point Park. Community members are invited to walk to the celebration from Applebee’s in Grand Haven, William Ferry Park in Ferrysburg or Orchard Market in Spring Lake Township.

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