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Water failures fuel West Savidge reconstruction plans in Spring Lake

Marie Havenga • Jul 21, 2015 at 2:57 PM

Village Council is discussing recapturing its Tax Increment Finance fund a year earlier than planned to help pay for an estimated $750,000 rebuilding project between Christman Street and Old Boys' Brewhouse.

Last Wednesday, water equipment failure at the intersection of Christman and West Savidge forced Village Department of Public Works crew members to work 19 hours on repairs.

A “boil water advisory” was in effect during the shutdown due to possible backups and potential unsafe drinking conditions.

But last week's malfunction wasn't the first, and Village officials don't expect it to be the last.

In late 2012, a sewer line break threatened local businesses and residences. Village DPW employees were able to resolve the problem before significant backups.

Village Manager Chris Burns said the problem isn't necessarily the infrastructure's age, but more that it was built on unstable soils, including tree stumps and sawdust, likely remains of the town's lumber industry.

Department of Public Works Manager Roger Belknap said the West Savidge area, which serves Lake Pointe Condominiums, Barrett Boat Works and several other businesses, has caused significant headaches for him and his crew including frequent pothole and sagging road repairs.

“It's terrible sub-grade materials,” Belknap said. “All we find is wood and sawdust. That's why we have to patch the road all the time. We see areas where the road kind of sinks.”

Although exact costs are not known at this time, Belknap said the Village has budgeted $700,000 for 1,100 feet of road, water and sewer re-construction.

“The big thing is excavating deep enough to eliminate the soils that are causing the problems we're experiencing,” Belknap said.

He and Burns said the Village hopes to obtain grants to help fund the project.

Belknap said Moore & Bruggink engineers estimate the project will cost in the $750,000 range.

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

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