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 .
Grand Haven Charter Township continues to be the largest of the Northwest Ottawa Communities in terms of population ( about 17,384); area ( about 28+ square miles); and tax base ( an SEV of over $1 billion).

The population of Grand Haven Charter Township has been increasing↑ steadily. ( The Township estimates that each single-family home has 2.9 residents, and each apartment or mobile home has 1.5 residents.) The official 2010 Census indicates that Grand Haven Charter Township’s population is 15,178, which was an increase of 1,900 residents ( or about 14.3%) above the 2000 census.

However, staff now estimate that the population has increased to about 17,384 residents based upon construction permits. This is an increase↑ of about 2,206 residents since the 2010 census … or an average growth of about 275 new residents each year.

Population will become especially important in 2020 with the upcoming Census since State Shared Revenues and the formulas for many revenue sources or grants are population based.
Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Information
Spring is when most creatures start to wake up from the cold of winter to begin their lifecycles once again. There is an invasive pest however, that has used the winter months to slowly feed on hemlock shoots and branches and develop into adults in the spring.
This invasive pest is the hemlock woolly adelgid, an aphid-like insect that sucks the nutrients from hemlock trees, slowly killing them over time.

During this feeding time, the adelgid secretes a white waxy coating that looks like a small, round, cottony mass. That makes it possible to identify infested trees in the spring. These woolly masses are attached at the base of hemlock needles and can be spread by wind, mammals, and birds; with birds being one of the primary ways HWA can move. Humans can also spread HWA through vehicles, trailers, and campers that come in contact with infested trees, then move to a different location.

Michigan has more than 170 million hemlock trees that we want to protect. They provide important habitat and winter cover for many wildlife species, add diversity across the landscape, help stabilize and protect dune and riparian systems, and provide shade to create a cooling influence on rivers, streams, and creeks.

HWA has been found so far in four West Michigan counties, and it’s important to keep it from spreading. You can do the following to help prevent the spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid.

  • Consider placing bird feeders at least 100 feet away from hemlock trees, or take them down from April through June; or
  • Treat your hemlock trees with insecticides to prevent HWA from being established or to destroy existing HWA.

Hemlock trees are generally dark green and have somewhat droopy, lacy-looking branches. Needles are flat and attached individually to the branch. There are two white stripes on the underside of the needle.
$25,000 Grant Awarded
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR), Office of the Great Lakes has completed the selection process for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Department of Commerce Fiscal Year 2019 Coastal Healthy Habitat, Waters and Communities Initiative grant funding … and Grand Haven Charter Township’s project – the Pottawattomie Park Natural Shoreline & Universal Design Upgrades – was selected to receive the grant award amount of $25,000.

The grant requires an equal match by the Township – which the Board can accomplish through a budget amendment later this year.

The purpose of the grant is to mitigate the shoreline erosion at Pottawattomie Park.

Streets and Roads
2018 was a good year with regard to street maintenance ( with the exception of the “Lincoln Street” problem). About 10.8 miles of roadway were improved…
Harbor Transit
 Harbor Transit provided about 224,000 rides during 2018. ( A “ride” may be a pick-up at Walmart – whether there is one passenger or five collected at the site.)

About 25% of all rides originated within Grand Haven Charter Township – a total of 55,453 rides.

Harbor Transit provides an important transportation “tool” that impacts both the social and economic development aspects of the community.
Sewer Rate Increase
The Sewer Authority is about to begin a $13.45 million renovation of the sewer plant facility. Because of this capital improvement project, the sewer usage rate will increase↑ from the current $3.51/1,000 gallons to $4.10/1,000 gallons. ( This is an increase of 16.8%.)

As more users connect to the Township’s sewage collection system ( currently, there are 858 connections), this rate increase associated with the plant renovation is expected to decrease from 59 cents to 50 cents per 1,000 gallons, when the bonds are fully paid in 2038. ( In addition, a $2.5 million appropriation from the State will likely create a surplus at the end of this Sewer Plant project, in or around June of 2021, that could be used to offset bond payments and lower future sewer usage rates.)

The adequacy of the utility rates for both the Water Distribution System and Sewer Collection System will be reviewed with a specialized utility rate study scheduled for 2020.
(616) 842-5988   | info@ght.org | www.ght.org