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Lights out for CG Park show

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 12:54 PM

Boyink had proposed moving the popular synchronized light show that formerly operated in the Heather Court neighborhood in Spring Lake Township to the east side of Coast Guard Park.

“It's not worth the battle,” he said at Monday night's Ferrysburg City Council meeting.

That decision followed more than 90 minutes of comments and questions from City Council and the public.

Councilwoman Regina Sjoberg, a strong opponent of the light show at the park, criticized Councilwoman Rebecca Hopp for not requesting financial statements from Boyink and for recommending the show location to City Council from her position on the Parks and Recreation Commission.

“I think it's a total disregard of the life and property rights of the people living west of Coast Guard Park,” said Sjoberg, who lives in a nearby condominium community. “Logistically, I think this is a nightmare.”

Sjoberg read from a 1973 quit-claim deed from the National Park Service to the City of Ferrysburg that granted the Coast Guard Park land to the city. She said the deed stipulates that the property cannot be leased to anyone except another governmental entity.

Allowing the synchronized holiday light show to set up shop at the park would breach the agreement with the federal government and result in the property reverting back to the U.S. Department of the Interior, according to Sjoberg's interpretation.

“I would say this just can't happen,” she said, adding that she would seek legal advice and consult with the Department of the Interior.

Several other council members asked for additional traffic information and several audience members expressed concerns, but it was after Sjoberg's intense opposition that Boyink informed City Council he was withdrawing his request.

“Obviously, she will do anything in her power to prevent this from happening,” Boyink said. “We have never been about creating battles. It's not worth creating a public battle.”

Boyink said it is likely the show will have to take a year hiatus and begin searching for another location for 2014.

Sjoberg said she's “very happy to take that blame” for the show not appearing in Coast Guard Park.

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

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