City sets special assessment in motion for downtown project

Grand Haven City Council on Monday officially set in motion the method of capturing a special assessment from businesses along Washington Avenue to help pay for infrastructure improvements. City Council unanimously approved the special assessment for the downtown reconstruction project. While the initial resolution had the payment to be received in full by June 16 - or the first of 20 installments be due beginning annually on July 1 - council decided to give businesses more time to pay this assessment.
Alex Doty
May 18, 2011


“They just pushed everything back one year,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said.

Reasoning behind this was to allow downtown business and building owners the chance to get back on their feet following several years of downtown construction.

Robyn Vandenberg, owner of a building downtown, said she was hoping that the members of City Council could offer some relief to downtown property owners and offer more time for businesses to make up for lost sales due to the ongoing reconstruction project.

“I feel, as a landlord, I can’t pass on these assessments because the tenants can’t pass on the cost at this time,” she said.

The special assessment is a total of $500,000. The cost will be split up and shared among those who have frontage along Washington Avenue, from Harbor Drive to Third Street.

“I believe we have the cash available to make the first payments,” McGinnis stated at Monday night’s meeting.

City Finance Director Jim Bonamy told council that because the funding has been delayed a year, the city was “going to have to draw money out of the general fund reserves to cover what we’ve got due” before the first round of payments come to the city from property owners.

Construction crews are currently putting the finishing touches on the downtown sidewalk and streetscape work. Work is nearing the final stages in the third block of Washington, and crews are making repairs elsewhere downtown.

It is anticipated that most work and the final course of asphalt will be placed on the road by Memorial Day weekend.


are you serious

Its about time you give those downtown business owners a break! Too bad a 3 block 7 million dollar renovation took two yrs to completed "a major facelift" for the city. Of course you cost them income! Sure it looks really nice in those three blocks, again for the tourists........I think if you would have just fixed the failing underground utilities and left the rest alone it would have been just fine, maybe it wouldnt have cost all those business owners all the income they lost for the past couple years. And now a new city bathroom and take away OUR Coast Guard boat too? How's about making the those two business owners behind the boat fix up there scrap heap buildings! A nice coat of paint would really do justice there........Atleast that boat is a "focal point" entering Grand Haven unlike the two business' right behind it. Where's the city's brains these days? how about fixing more of our city streets instead of making everything else nice for the tourists.


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