Campground: 'a cash bull'

Area residents have voiced their support of a proposed campground on the city's Harbor Island.
Alex Doty
Nov 6, 2012

“It’s an idea that has been bounced around in the community for quite awhile,” said Chuck Novak, a retired Grand Haven public works director. “We thought it would be a beautiful area for an overnight campground and a way to provide income for the community.”

Novak has been assisting the city by spearheading the project.

The proposed campground would be located adjacent to the Third Street Bridge. The site is currently a fenced-off area that is used as a Department of Public Works storage area and dumping ground.

Grand Haven Township resident Thomas Howard said he is impressed with the idea.

“My only concern is the environmental part,” he said. “But beyond that, it is a total cash bull.”

City Manager Pat McGinnis noted said Shell Oil — a former owner of the property — has been asked to pay for a due-care study to determine what kind of contaminants may be present on the site.

“The biggest concern is groundwater contamination,” he said.

But by hooking up to city water, McGinnis said there would be no onsite groundwater extraction.

Howard said he has had no luck getting a campsite at the Grand Haven State Park, so he has to travel to Pentwater or Petoskey to camp.

“Build it and they will come," Howard said, "and they will bring the money with them."

Bob Huff of Grand Haven is also in support of turning the DPW dump into a campground.

“A good, well-laid-out campground here would go over great,” he said.

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

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