SLT fire station location needs second look

Spring Lake Township officials are planning to levy a fire safety millage to bring in funds for a new fire barn for the township.
Aug 27, 2013


While there has been a fiery debate over whether this millage should have gone before voters, in our eyes that is only part of the problem.

While we aren’t arguing over whether a new station house is needed, or whether the issue should have gone before voters for approval — as those are separate issues altogether — we feel strongly that this location along M-104 being considered by township officials is not the best place for a new fire station.

Sure, it may be located in a high-traffic area with easy access to other areas of the township, but we think that high-traffic area could be better utilized for commerce.

As this is prime real estate, who is to say a new business or development wouldn’t better serve this area if it were to utilize the same space?

First off, a commercial development would provide new tax dollars for the area that a fire station wouldn’t bring. Secondly, it would allow for more jobs and money flowing through the Spring Lake area.

Besides, there is already limited space along the M-104 corridor, and we shouldn’t waste this prime location for development on a municipal building that won’t bring the same benefits to the township as a different type of development.

Before the shovel hits the dirt, we ask Spring Lake Township officials to reconsider the location of this proposed fire barn before they remove some prime real estate for a municipal purpose.

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 or log-in to our website and leave a comment below.



The traffic is at a complete standstill on M104 every Sunday when church gets out, every Friday and Sunday evening as the tourists are driving in or out, the entire length of Coast Guard Festival yet they still think the M104/Fruitport Road location is best. From what I understand the property is in the Village of Spring Lake, not the Township. I absolutely agree this property could be used for a better purpose. Should it be proven that M104 is the best location then it should be further from the Village and at the very least in the Township. I believe I read an article earlier this summer in the GHT where the Village also stated they did not want it located there. I'm curious what happend with that.


The location IS in the township. It is difficult for some people to understand but the VILLAGE IS COMPLETELY IN THE TOWNSHIP. If you live in the village you live in the township.

Remember, village residents pay township taxes. That is not out of the goodness of village resident's hearts. It is because they are also township residents as well.

It is unlike a city that is distinct from a township. The village is part of the township. So to say the property is "not (in) the Township" is in error.


This property is not located properly for a quick exodus of emergency assistance (vehicles) more than 25% of the time. I also agree that this property should be used for retail/commercial; you don't use prime income generating real estate for municipal entities. This discussion keeps going on and on and makes one wonder what is behind it. It almost makes one think that something is amiss somehow.


The problem here is that it seems Spring Lake Township (which I usually find to be very professional and upright) is very arrogant in this situation. They seem to want to push it no matter what. They will not bring the fire department funding to a vote of the people. Why are they afraid of the voice of the people on this one.

Let's not let our fine fire department be blemished by this rush and push job.


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