The nearly 80-foot tall concrete coal tipple will be cleaned and openings will be screened off as soon as this spring. City Council approved a $12,490 bid from Kalamazoo-based Building Restoration Inc. to clear debris and animal waste from the inside of the tipple.
All on City Council, with the exception of Dennis Scott, approved the decision.
Assistant City Manager Sam Janson said the start date depends on when the project can be fit into the company’s schedule. The company will wait until it’s warmer outside because debris inside the tipple is frozen.
The project will be paid for through the public improvement line of the city’s budget. There are also private funds available aimed toward the project.
Lighthouse, Musical Fountain and the pier restoration projects have gained momentum faster than the tipple, Janson said. Community members, such as Bob Walma, have helped the tipple gain awareness.
“We need to keep moving forward on it,” Janson said.
The Detroit, Grand Haven and Milwaukee Railway built the tipple in 1925. It served as a way to refill a train engine’s tender through metal chutes on both sides of the tower.
With the exception of a fence around the tipple, nothing has been done to the structure since it was abandoned in 1958.
Once cleaned, Janson said it’d be up to City Council to determine when an internal structural analysis will be completed to determine the tipple’s future.
To read more of this story, see today's edition in the Grand Haven Tribune.