Solutions needed for sewer plant in Crockery Twp.

Nestled in the outskirts of the Tri-Cities, the Hathaway Lakes subdivision is the picture of the American dream.
Sep 6, 2013


The neighborhood features nice homes and manicured lawns, and it even has a sewer plant — one that is at the center of a hot debate in Crockery Township right now.

Township leaders are worried about increasing costs from the county to operate the sewage treatment facility, while at the same time not getting any additional revenue to fund the plant due to stagnant and slower-than-normal home construction and sales.

This situation is leading to the township having to dip into its General Fund in order to cover its shortfall. According to township officials, they’ve transferred a little more than $102,000 to the sewer fund since 2006 from the township’s General Fund.

This, in our opinion, isn’t something that should be done in order to deal with this situation.

Crockery Township taxpayers who don’t have connections to sewer and have to use a septic system shouldn’t be on the hook for funding one.

Instead, the county and township should work together to find a way to lower the operational costs so that it does balance itself out. Otherwise, the township should seek out a private entity to operate the plant.

Perhaps a private company could come in and run the sewage treatment plant for a reduced cost compared to what the county is currently charging the township.

Another thing the township should be doing to make the sewage plant more friendly to its budget is seek more users from other areas. Perhaps there are businesses and other homes that could tap into it to see if the plant could be operated cheaper.

Whatever the case may be, our hope is that somehow, someway, the county and the township can work together to find a solution to this mess. Taxpayers shouldn’t be on the hook for something only a fraction of the township benefits from.

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.



Maybe instead of pointing fingers exclusively at the Ottawa County Road Commission we should look to Crockery Township, and the developer Eastbrook Homes. The Township failed to charge Eastbrook Homes the appropriate fees for all of the available lots. This money would have buffered the treatment plant and protected Crockery Township to this very issue. Starting and operating a wastewater treatment plant that is accepting 10% of its designed flow, in my understanding, is no easy task. The road commission treatment plant operators have gone above and beyond the call of duty in an effort to save money on everything from electricity costs, to man hours, to attempting reduce state DEQ’s extremely strict requirements that are questionably necessary due to the Crockery Township Treatment Plant Process. Privatizing the treatment plant operations by hiring a for profit firm to handle the operations is not in the best interest of the residents of the Hathaway Lakes or Cobblestone Subdivisions or the residents of Crockery Township. Should service area of the treatment plant be expanded? You bet. Should the operations be privatized? Not a chance. Should Crockery Township Residents be upset? Yes. Should the blame for this issue be put exclusively on the Ottawa County Road Commission? No way.


Privitization would be a good move here. It would allow for competitive bidding on the operation so there would not be continual governmental skimming.

Why exactly would you @nobody be so opposed to getting a professional private company in to help.


I am a neighbor to the treatment plant and a former public employee. I believe that a facility that can't come close to breaking even will go further into debt and disrepair when someone is trying to make a profit on it.


The difference is a matter of efficiency. Profit can be a great motivator for someone to make things more efficient. The private sector needs profit and efficiency to survive. That is not the case for the county.


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