Council reverses sign decision

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:50 PM

Grand Haven City Council voted 3-2 to allow the sign to be placed on the hill for this year's Coast Guard Festival.

"The opinion (by the Coast Guard) was that they felt welcomed by those words on the hill," Coast Guard Festival Executive Director Mike Smith said. "The letters on the hill are meant as a moment in time to say who we say we are."

The decision is a 180-degree turn from the one made several weeks ago to not allow letters on the hill due to concerns about dune degradation and about promoting things on the prominent hillside.

"I think the sign is a statement on the hill of who we are," Mayor Geri McCaleb said. "I supported the sign the first time around. It is not advertising."

McCaleb noted that the sign is also a backdrop for all of the events that take place at Waterfront Stadium during the week of the festival.

This year's festival is July 26 to Aug. 4.

As a part of City Council's decision to allow the sign this year, the city's Environment and Natural Resource Committee will look into a preservation plan for Dewey Hill. Costs associated with action items that could come from the plan would be funded by those who use the hill.

"If something develops, there could be a cost involved," Councilman John Hierholzer said.

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


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