City gives OK for fountain fixes

Alex Doty • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:41 PM

Nearly a year after the city upgraded the attraction with new plumbing, modernized playback software and additional upgrades to the fountain’s lighting are on the way.

“The current playback program we have was written in 2005 by two volunteers who had a passion for the fountain,” City Facilities Manager Dan Vivian said. “In the long run, it would be best if we invested in a company that could write new playback software.”

City Council approved an agreement to work with Apex Controls Inc. at a cost of $36,750. Apex would build the new playback software and the city would own the program.

“It’s pretty in-depth what they have to do,” Vivian said.

Vivian said development of new playback software must be done to maintain the long term operation of the fountain, along with giving the city the resources to maintain the attraction in its current capacity.

There will also be more updates to the fountain’s lighting system, with the approval of $42,930 for new LED fixtures.

“They had purchased some lights last year, but it turned out they could not withstand the outdoor environment,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.

The older LEDs were purchased from a manufacturer in China through a broker. McGinnis said the city got a refund for them.

City officials then began to work with John S. Hyatt & Associates Inc., a custom architectural and theatrical lighting supplier based in Grand Rapids, to obtain new lights. After several site visits and meetings with city staff and volunteers, the company produced a product list and conceptual drawing to meet the fountain’s needed lighting requirements.

There is currently $150,000 in the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation’s Musical Fountain fund. The city will use this fund to pay for the approved fountain improvements.

“Since the money is there, it is smart to keep moving forward with it,” City Councilman Mike Fritz said of the latest round of Musical Fountain improvements.

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