North bank communities are doing their part to save energy

Editor's note: This is the second article in this week's series on renewable energy. North bank municipalities are pitching in to do their part in preserving the ecosystem - from shutting off lights and replacing bulbs to planting trees and recycling office supplies. Here's a rundown: The Spring Lake Village website,, features energy savings tips for residents - and village staff say they practice what they preach.
Marie Havenga
Apr 20, 2011


Conservation efforts have reduced Village Hall natural gas bills by 37 percent in the last year and electric bills were cut by $3,000 from 2009 to 2010, according to Village Community Services Director Kathy Staton. Installing energy-efficient street lights last summer saved another 30 percent.

Village Manager Ryan Cotton said bike paths and tree plantings are also a huge part of the village’s sustainable ways.

“The village is planting double the number of trees removed,” Cotton said. “It’s good for keeping the community cooler and it’s helpful for overall carbon intake.”

Crockery Township Supervisor Leon Stille said a federal grant is helping the staff replace the lighting in the Township Hall with energy-efficient LEDs.

“That’s fairly substantial,” he said. “We’ve already started replacing all the lights in the town hall.”

Spring Lake Township staff is committed to saving and conserving with a comprehensive recycling program, equipment replacement and energy studies, according to Township Supervisor John Nash.

“We’ve been monitoring all the buildings and we’re trying to become a sustainable culture,” Nash said. “We’re replacing our (Township Hall) boiler, which will be significant — and we’re replacing all of our lights, which will be a significant energy reduction. We’re looking at anything with a five-year payback.”

Ferrysburg City Manager Craig Bessinger said an Ottawa County energy-efficient block grant will pay for upgrades at the city’s public works department and fire station, including changing out fixtures and adding energy-efficient bulbs. The estimated payback for the DPW garage is only 2.3 years, according to Bessinger, and 11.6 years for the fire department.

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


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