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 firstname.lastname@example.org or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.