City Council OKs $280K grant for Waterfront Stadium

Alex Doty • Jul 26, 2017 at 8:00 AM

If all goes as planned, work could commence on the Waterfront Stadium renovation project as soon as this fall.

Grand Haven City Council approved a $280,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant agreement during a special meeting Tuesday afternoon. The agreement includes a $674,900 local match.

“I’m just excited we’re moving forward with this,” Mayor Geri McCaleb said. “$280,000 is a large chunk of change, and we’re very happy we were awarded this grant from the Natural Resources Trust Fund to move this project along.”

City Manager Pat McGinnis said even though the grant and local match equals nearly $955,000, the entire stadium renovation project is expected to cost more than $4 million.

“We deliberately defined the scope of the project to define the grant-eligible items,” he said.

Grant-eligible items include removal of the bleachers and concrete, and the development of the new grass amphitheater-style seating and stage, McGinnis explained. Other elements, such as a project involving the old train depot, would not be covered by the grant.

McGinnis said it is important to get an agreement approved by City Council so that project plans can be submitted to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources for review. The review process could take as long as a month to complete, officials say, but McGinnis noted that he’s hopeful for a much shorter turnaround.

“They said up to 30 days, but we are hoping it’s a week,” he said.

Once reviewed by the state, the city can send the project out for bid.

McGinnis said they hope to be able to move the project along in order to present bids to City Council for approval by the end of August.

“It’s our goal (to break ground) before the end of September,” the city manager said. 

The Waterfront Stadium project is a major capital item in the city's 2015-19 Explore the Grand Region Parks and Recreation Plan, its 2017-18 goals statement and its Capital Improvement Plan.

Mulligan’s Hollow

City Council also Tuesday approved a $280,000 grant agreement with the state trust fund that will lead to parking improvements at its Mulligan’s Hollow Recreational Area.

Along with a $202,700 local match, the money will be used to build a new parking area over the former Board of Light & Power fuel storage area, creating about 134 spaces for park users.

New trash and recycle bins, signage for spaces and pavement markings, new lighting, light landscaping, and a pedestrian access path are also planned for the site. The old diesel storage tanks were removed several years ago.

The project is shown as a priority in the city’s 2015-19 Explore the Grand Region Parks and Recreation Plan.

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