Water wars

You wouldn't think that getting water in an area with some of the largest natural lakes in the world would be a problem.
R.J. Wolcott
Jun 28, 2012

However, over the past year, Fruitport Township and the city of Norton Shores have been thirsty for solutions.

The story began a little more than a year ago.

On April 12, 2011, Fruitport Township Supervisor Brian Werschem said the township would cancel its water service with Muskegon Heights due to a lack of common ground on key issues. This announcement triggered a four-year countdown to halting the service from the Muskegon Heights water system.

Fruitport Township officials decided this week to begin a serious investigation into building a new water treatment plant to service the area. The plan is contingent on Norton Shores agreeing to follow the township's lead on the project, as well as ensuring that the partnership — called the West Michigan Regional Water Authority — stays within a defined budget.

“We have no choice but to look to our own water supply at this point in time,” Werschem said Monday.

Norton Shores Mayor Gary Nelund said that while he is unwilling to break ground on the project anytime soon, he is in favor of gathering data. He said a project of this size would most likely have to be funded by the sale of bonds, but there are still some key issues that need to be worked out — namely its cost and facility location.

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

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