Welcome to the electronic newsletter from
Grand Haven Charter Township!

Stay informed on what is happening in the township. This newsletter will deliver up-to-date information including upcoming meetings, development news, township services and more!

You can always find more information on our website or Facebook .
Recreational Marihuana
Proposal 1 – or what is now known as the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act (MRTMA) – was approved by voters within the State of Michigan with about 57% of the vote.  However, it is noted that the ballot measure failed in both Ottawa County and in Grand Haven Charter Township.

The elected officials from the Township ( and all other communities in Ottawa County) determined that the Township would adopt a police powers ordinance to “opt out” of the commercialization of marihuana by prohibiting marihuana establishments as defined under the MRTMA. ( A second zoning ordinance amendment that repeats the prohibition of marihuana facilities will also become part of the Township’s Zoning Ordinance.)

It is important to understand both what the “Opt-Out” ordinance prohibits and, also, what it does not prohibit. Specifically, the “Opt-Out” ordinance DOES NOT:

1.        Prohibit Individual Cultivation or Possession of Marihuana. The ordinance does not prohibit individual cultivation ( up to 12 plants within their home) or possession ( up to 2.5 ounces outside of home and 10 ounces within their home) of marihuana by people 21 years of age and older. 

2.        Prohibit Sale of Marihuana Accessories.

3.         Prohibit Individual Use on Private Property. The Township cannot prohibit use by a person 21 years of age and older within that person’s property and cannot prohibit use of marihuana on private property where the owner, occupier or manager has not prohibited its use – and that is not accessible to people under 21 years of age. For example, a hookah lounge that sells marihuana accessories, as noted above in 2, but is not licensed to sell marihuana, would, as long as the business is restricted to people 21 years of age and older, be able to allow people to bring and use personal supplies of marihuana.
4.        Prevent the Transfer of Marihuana. Residents may transfer marihuana – without remuneration – up to 2.5 ounces of marihuana and not more than 15 grams of marihuana concentrate to a person 21 years of age or older as long as the transfer is not advertised or promoted to the public ( e.g., friend to friend).
1.  Prohibit Transportation of Marihuana. The Township cannot prohibit the transport of marihuana through the Township – regardless of whether the Township completely prohibits recreational marihuana establishments from locating in the Township.

The “Opt-Out” Ordinance DOES:

1.  Completely Prohibit the Commercialization of Marihuana within the Township. By adopting the “Opt-Out” ordinance, the Board is prohibiting commercial establishments that produce or transport or sell marihuana within the Township′s municipal boundaries. 

2.  Disqualify the Township from any Marihuana Revenues Distributed by the State of Michigan. Approximately 15% of the 10% excise tax on marihuana sales will be distributed to local units that allow commercial marihuana establishments. For example, if a retail marihuana store located in the Township had $10,000 of retail sales every day, the Township would qualify for about $54,750 of revenues and a licensing fee of not more than $5,000. The $59,750 maximum revenues in this example represents about 4/10ths of 1% of gross Township revenues.  

Because the MRTMA allows for local units to decide whether marihuana businesses can be located in their communities and because the Township voters rejected “Proposal 1”, the Township has taken a position that the negative consequences and costs associated with the commercialization of marihuana will likely outweigh the benefits — especially since the majority of the monies collected ( i.e., about 90%) will be directed toward schools and transportation regardless of whether the Township “opts-out”.
Sewer Plant Expansion
The Grand Haven\Spring Lake Sewer Authority approved bids for about $14 million of improvements to the sewage collection system and treatment plant.
The contracts were about $1 million above↑ construction estimates; but there were sufficient contingencies to cover the overage and still leave about $920k for other issues that might arise. 

The project has five components – two of which will benefit Grand Haven Township and will be paid, in part, by sewer users from the Township.

The two components that will impact Township users include:
The so-called “Headwork and Pumping Improvements” to the treatment plant at a cost of about $5.2 million that will be shared by all of the Sewer Authority users; and,

The “Local Pump Station” improvements at a cost of about $924k that will be funded by the sewer users in Grand Haven City and Grand Haven Township.

The remaining $7.85 million of improvements (e.g., Grand River force main and local pump station improvements) will benefit the other municipal units and will be funded by their sewer customers.

Bottom line – the cost increase for sewer users in Grand Haven Charter Township will be about 60 cents per 1,000 gallons.
Meijer Renovations
The Meijer store in Grand Haven Township will begin a $3.3 million renovation of their store and gas station in December. This renovation will take about 18 months to complete. For the main store, the renovation will include:
  • New flooring
  • Repaint (interior & exterior)
  • New shelving units
  • New POS (point of service) equipment
  •  New retail displays
  •  New interior signage
  •  New exterior signage
  •  Renovated restrooms
  •  Reconfigured areas:
  • Deli
  • Bakery 
  • Meat/Seafood
  • Pharmacy

Village at Rosy Mound 
The Village at Rosy Mound – East Wings – are completed, and the senior residents are moving into their finished apartments.
New Ballistic Gear for Fire/Rescue Staff
The Township Fire/Rescue Department now has four (4) sets of ballistic gear that will be used by fire/rescue personnel when responding to an emergency call with active assailants and a so-called “Warm Zone Entry”. A “Warm Zone” is the area where the first responders are removed from any immediate threat but are not considered completely safe from harm.
There are two sets of ballistic gear loaded onto two of the Township’s emergency vehicles.

Fire/Rescue Labor Agreement Approved
A new five-year collective bargaining agreement with Local 4475 of the International Association of Firefighters has been approved, effective January 1st. This is the fifth agreement with the local union of full-time fire fighters.

Because there is mutual trust between the union and management of the Township, all the issues were decided upon its merits rather than through some haggling process. Both sides looked for mutual gains whenever possible, but where there were conflicts both sides reviewed the facts and insisted that the result be based upon some fair standard independent of either side.

The contract maintains all management rights, provides wages based upon a wage survey, and offers benefits that are substantially similar to the non-union employees of the Township. The advantage of the agreement from the union’s perspective is the protections that are awarded through the grievance process, and a five-year tie period where the members will know what to expect in terms of wages, benefits and work conditions.
(616) 842-5988   | info@ght.org | www.ght.org