Property purchase stalled

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 11:44 AM

The state's preliminary review of the grant application indicates the village must be willing to commit another $6,000 in matching funds and agree to conduct more environmental studies if the project gets approved.

This spring, Village Council applied for a $125,000 Michigan Department of Natural Resources grant to purchase the property at the southeast corner of Exchange and School streets. The vacant land is often used for overflow parking for concerts, festivals and other special events at the adjacent park.

Village Manager Chris Burns said it is unknown at this time how much it would cost for additional environmental testing of the land. Mill Point Park is a former dump, and it it not known how far refuse may have been placed. When contractors were excavating for the park's new restrooms last year, they ran into questionable soils.

Council on Monday night decided to up the grant match from $26,000 to $32,000, but to wait on the environmental testing until a deal is in place with seller Bill Wipperfurth.

Negotiations will begin after the grant is approved and there is a professional appraisal conducted, according to Village President Jim MacLachlan.

This is at least the third time the village has attempted to purchase the land.

To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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