Your dollars at work

From a massive sewer upgrade in Spring Lake Township to street resurfacing in Grand Haven, Northwest Ottawa County communities reported many improvements to their infrastructure in 2012.
Alex Doty
Jan 28, 2013

From a massive sewer upgrade in Spring Lake Township to street resurfacing in Grand Haven, Northwest Ottawa County communities reported many improvements to their infrastructure in 2012.

Here is a look at some of the projects that took place and how they impacted you.

City of Grand Haven

Grand Haven Finance Director Jim Bonamy said there were a multitude of projects that took place in the city last year.

“We split the year in two parts, so it is hard to say what happened in 2012 specifically,” he said.

One of the major projects that took place in the city was the Harbor Drive project from Prospect to Sherman. This $1.8 million project resulted in new water lines, sewer lines and road surface for the area.

“It was largely completed before the summer tourism season,” Grand Haven Project Manager Julie Beaton said. “We started in the fall (of 2011) and we finished in the following spring.”

Funding for the project came from the city’s 2008 Infrastructure Bond fund.

Harbor Drive wasn’t the only major project that took place in the city last year. According to Bonamy, there were also a lot of street resurfacing projects.

“We did about $300,000 in major and local street resurfacing,” he said.

Funding for the 2012 street resurfacing projects came from the city’s major and local streets fund.

Grand Haven Township

“We had one major project this year ­— the Hiawatha and Lakeshore water main project,” Township Manager Bill Cargo said. “That’s the very southern portion of the township.”

The project extended the water main in that area, and brought municipal water to residents who live along Lakeshore Avenue and Fillmore Street to Hiawatha Street.

“It was about a $210,000 project and it extended 2,900 feet of water main,” Cargo said. “That is a little over a half-mile.”

Original estimates for the project were nearly twice as much, and the township budgeted $425,000 for it.

Other than the water main project, Cargo said it was typical year for construction projects in the township.

The township invested in a new quint fire truck that aims to improve its firefighting capabilities. In 2012, the township agreed to pay $400,000 and voters approved a 1-year, 0.59-mill levy in August to fund the firefighting apparatus.

Township officials say they expect the truck to arrive this summer.

Spring Lake Township

The major project in Spring Lake Township last year involved upgrades to its sewer pump stations. The project was a $5 million infrastructure overhaul funded by a $1.2 million federal grant, a $2.6 million low-interest loan from the state, an $800,000 bond and $400,000 in sewer funds.

A total of 34 lift stations that were about 30 years old were fitted with new pumps and fittings. Several stations were also outfitted with new generators to help prevent backups in the event of power outages.

“A significant number of the stations were reaching the end of their life,” Township Manager Gordon Gallagher said. “We fixed them before they broke.”

Gallagher noted that the upgrades had the potential to save the township money since the new pumps were more energy-efficient. He said they are variable-speed pumps, meaning they turn on and off gradually.

Spring Lake Township officials also brought sewer to more residents in the area. That included a $150,000 project that brought sanitary sewer to residents up Fruitport Road to areas around Fredrickson Electric.

Gallagher said project funding came from the township’s sewer fund as well as special assessments.

Spring Lake Village

Spring Lake Clerk/Treasurer Maribeth Lawrence said the village spent nearly $170,000 on a street reconstruction project last year. The Parkhurst Street reconstruction project concluded in August and featured upgrades to water and sewer mains.

Lawrence said the improvements resulted in improved reliability and service to the neighborhood. Funding came from the village's local street and sewer funds.

The village's other major project in 2012 was the Holiday Inn Bike Path connector. Lawrence said this $71,236 project was finished in July.

The 8-foot-wide path is on a Michigan Department of Transportation right of way, with that state agency's permission. It includes landscaping and a decorative fence that matches the fencing along Savidge Street.

Ferrysburg

Maybe not as elaborate as its neighbors, Ferrysburg also completed some projects last year.

“We did some minor street work and rewrote the master plan,” City Manager Craig Bessigner said.

While 2012 might have been a light year for the city, officials say this year will be different.

“In 2013, we are going to be doing our Ridge Avenue bridge project,” Bessinger said. “One half is (the state's responsibility) and the other half is Ferrysburg.”

Bessinger said the city has allocated $211,000 for the project, which spans the railroad tracks. He noted that there is also street work involved with the project.

“The city has authorized additional work on Ridge Avenue,” Bessinger said. “That would be an additional price. They authorized an additional $120,600 worth of work.”

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