GRAND HAVEN TWP. — Changes may soon be coming to a pair of township parks.

The Grand Haven Township Board this week approved moving forward with a resolution for Pottawattomie Park and phase 1 plans for Schmidt Heritage Park.

Pottawattomie Park

The work could start as early as 2020 or 2021 on waterfront development at Pottawattomie Park, 15600 Comstock St., according to Township Manager Bill Cargo.

In February, the township was awarded a planning grant from Coastal Zone Management (CZM) – which is part of the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy. Stacey Fedewa, the township’s community development manager, said the grant enabled the township to conduct several studies. She said the studies helped the township draft conceptual designs, which were presented for community members to provide feedback through different surveys.

The favored design featured connectivity between the dock and boardwalk at the park, but came with a price tag of more than $600,000.

“In order to provide cost savings and stay true to the preferred concept design, staff and (engineering firm) Prein & Newhof went to work crafting the current design being presented tonight,” Fedewa said at Monday’s Township Board meeting.

New cost estimates came in at $280,000, with the township covering half of the bill for work including removing the fixed portion of the dock and all pilings, moving the sidewalk near the shoreline farther north, building a small area of boardwalk and an overlook, reusing the floating portion of the current dock by attaching it to the kayak launch, and more.

On Monday, the board approved the planning phase of this project, as well as the matching funds to move forward if an implementation grant is received from CZM.

Schmidt Heritage Park

Also Monday, the board looked over the plans for the first phase of work at Schmidt Heritage Park, which is located between Lincoln and Ferris streets and across from the entrance for Hofma Park and Preserve.

“As you may recall, with the donation of the Schmidt property, one of the contingencies of the land donation was that the township complete a master plan for the site,” Township Public Services Director Mark VerBerkmoes said. “In addition, the township is required to plan and build phase 1 improvements within four years of the closure of the property.”

VerBerkmoes said the township’s Parks and Recreation Committee, Nederveld Inc. consultants and input from property donor James Schmidt were all included in creating phase 1 improvements from the Master Plan. Those improvements include a jogging trail, multi-sport fields and irrigation, a pavilion, restrooms, a pickleball court with bleachers, an entry road and parking, and landscaping. The cost is estimated at $3.84 million.

Cargo said the Township Board has approved the planning portion of phase 1 and will begin to address finances for funding this project in the future.

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