“The complexities of the fountain is probably not very well understood by the public,” City Manager Pat McGinnis said. “There’s a very complex mechanical, electrical and plumbing system operating together (and) needing some investment.”
McGinnis said the discussion isn’t about whether City Council wants to keep the fountain, but what needs to be done to keep it functioning.
Council members say the fountain is an important part of the community.
“It’s an icon, and our forefathers before us had a vision there,” Councilman Mike Fritz said. “It brought attention to the waterfront.”
According to Fritz, the fountain is an important part of Grand Haven’s tourism industry.
“People come from all over the world to see the Musical Fountain,” he said. “It attracts a lot of people to Grand Haven. ... It’s a very important part of our community here.”
City officials recently toured the fountain to get a better idea of its condition and what needs to be addressed in any upgrade project.
“We probably had about 20 people out there poking around,” McGinnis said. “It was a preliminary step to give people an eyeful of what the current condition is.”
“It’s not going to happen overnight, but you have to set priorities,” Fritz said. “It’s better to look ahead.”
Over the next 12 months, McGinnis said the city would be looking at the costs in upgrading the fountain. They will fall into 10 categories: lighting, drainage, pond, plumbing, water supply, mechanical pumps, electric, audio, hardware and software.
“We kind of take it for granted that it just works,” McGinnis said. “It’s a very rare instance where it never runs.”
To read more of this story, see today’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.