Snowmelt questions heat up

All winter long, the streets and sidewalks of Grand Haven’s downtown corridor stay warm and snow-free thanks to the snowmelt system.
Apr 3, 2013

Now, Centertown business and property owners are asking if they can have a slice of the heated sidewalk and street pie.

During a recent City Council meeting, members of the Centertown community and the Downtown Development Authority approached City Council to ask if they could study the cost of adding snowmelt to this part of town.

While council listened to their request, their response to the idea was rather lukewarm.

While the snowmelt system may not be popular among some on City Council and even in the community, the city owes it to the Centertown business community to at least give it a look.

More often than not, the city focuses its attention and energy on the downtown shopping district, while Centertown is left to feel left out in the cold.

Centertown is located on Washington Avenue, bordered on the west by Sixth Street and the east by Beacon Boulevard, and Seventh Street between Franklin Avenue and Beacon.

This latest scenario could either further fuel that belief, or let the district know the city values improving the district.

After all, with a near $1 million construction project on the horizon for Washington Avenue in Centertown, the time is ripe to at least put thought into the possibility of adding snowmelt.

Once the city completes its work later this year, it is unlikely that they will be willing to rip up their investment in several years time to add snowmelt.

A snowmelt expansion might also fuel reinvestment and additional development in Centertown by promoting year-round shopping and pedestrian accessibility.

Additionally, by denying the Centertown request, how will they know the true cost of putting snowmelt into the community would be?

After all, it would most likely be the Centertown community footing the heating bill, so to speak. So if they want it, they should have a chance to decide if it is more than they can bargain for.

With Centertown wanting to know, City Council should set emotions aside and at least do the merchants and business owners a favor by obtaining real, hard numbers on what the expansion of the service might cost.

Our Views reflects the majority opinion of the members of the Grand Haven Tribune editorial board: Kevin Hook, Cheryl Welch, Matt DeYoung, Alex Doty and Fred VandenBrand. What do you think? E-mail us a letter to the editor to news@grandhaventribune.com or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.

Comments

just-a-guy

Unlike downtown, most of the businesses in Centertown are located on Seventh Street.
Which I don't believe would be part of the system. And yes who, would be paying for the operating expenses would be a big question. Considering the small number of businesses that the system would benefit. Making certain improvements in that area would be a good thing. But Centertown is not downtown, that's just the way it is.

bigdeal

It's probably just a ploy to get it to pass in front of the city hall, and while they are there, they might as well do all the way up to the entry doors. Oh, and the entire entry/driveway to the fire/police station might as well be done while they are passing in front of that also. And maybe the drive around city hall too...

GHJames

Continue it right up to the north end and get some businesses in those empty spaces across from Culver's. If only they had heated sidewalks they would be turning customers away!

GHJames

Oops! I guess those empty storefronts already have it. My bad!

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