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 .
Consumer Fireworks Law Changed
During the December “lame duck” session, the Michigan Legislature limited the use of consumer fireworks to twelve (12) days per year. ( The previous law allowed for consumer fireworks to be used for about 30 days each year.)

Further, consumer fireworks are not permitted after 11:45 p.m. – except for New Year’s Eve that allows fireworks to be utilized until 1:00 a.m. 

Additionally, ordinance violations are doubled to $1,000 – half of which will go to local law enforcement for enforcement.

And finally, if consumer fireworks are banned due to drought or other weather conditions, the ban must be lifted by the local unit within 24 hours of the condition being downgraded and the public must be notified.

The Township Board approved an amendment to the current Consumer Fireworks local ordinance that reflects changes at the state level. The Board also allowed consumer fireworks on “Coast Guard Festival Saturday”.

MNRTF Grant Application
The Township is taking steps to bring the 2017 Hofma Vision to life by applying for a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) grant. The Trust Fund Board has indicated their 2019 priority funding projects will include trail networks and universal design ( i.e., going above and beyond barrier-free accessibility requirements), so the application will focus on those aspects to achieve the highest number of points.

The proposed application will include the following developments, all of which continue to celebrate Esther Witteveen’s dream of keeping the area in a natural state:

  • Building a trailhead parking lot on 168th Avenue.
  • Construct a pavilion, and possibly a restroom, near the 168th Avenue trailhead.
  • Construct a network of universally designed trails to connect the trailhead to the existing network of trails throughout Hofma Park & Preserve, along with new trails on the Wolfe property, and ultimately creating an interconnected network with the existing regional non-motorized pathways.
  • Build a large boardwalk and viewing platform through the wetlands of the Wolfe property, this will enable the community to enjoy the beauty of nature at its best, including bird watching.
  • Construction of these trails on the Witteveen property will enable the Township to request a small portion of habitat restoration. Removal of non-native flora to install the trail, and then restoring the disturbed area with native plants including meadow grasses to attract wildlife.
  • Signage will be installed at the 168th Avenue trailhead along with interpretive signage along the new trails, which may also include attached habitat houses to continue supporting the new wildlife the Township is trying to attract to the “dead zone” the Christmas tree farm has created.

Cost figures estimates the price of between $775,000 - $1,000,000 depending if a restroom should be included. The MNRTF provides up to $300,000 in development funding, which requires a minimum 25% matching funds. Fortunately, the Board has set aside $550,000 specifically to allow the Township to begin developing the 150-acres of new parkland that was acquired in 2016.

A public hearing is scheduled for March 25 th for the Board to approve the grant application.  Learn more about the Hofma Vision here.
Mercury Park

As you may recall, the in-line skate rink at Mercury Park was razed and removed last Fall. Further, the Parks and Recreation Committee requested that staff review both the pickleball courts option and a splash park option.

After reviewing both options, the Committee recommended that no new amenities be added to this local park. Rather, staff will simply construct an irrigated, multi-purpose grass field.

The Township is still interested in constructing pickleball courts at another location, to be determined.

DDA & Warber Drain - Update
The proposed DDA construction project on Robbins Road between 168 th Avenue and 172 nd Avenue was postponed – so that the Water Resources Commissioner could complete a study on the Warber Drain and the failing tile installed under Robbins Road.

The study was completed by ENG, Inc. – with a recommendation to replace the failing 36” storm pipe with 48” storm pipe. The cost is expected to be about $550,000±

Staff from the City of Grand Haven and Grand Haven Charter Township met with the County to review the study and plan the next steps. In brief, the following items were tentatively agreed upon:

1. Both the City and Township will petition Ottawa County to improve the Warber Drain. This will allow the County to begin the improvement process and schedule a Board of Determination public hearing. ( The proposed Warber Drain petition has been placed on the March 25 th Board agenda for consideration.)

2. The storm sewer project will require the southern-most lane of Robbins Road ( along with the curb and gutter) to be replaced. The City may also decide to reconstruct the other two lanes – which would be a cost borne solely by the City.

3. Township staff will recommend that the Township DDA construction project ( i.e., sidewalks and water mains) be done simultaneously as part of the proposed Warber Drain storm water construction project.

4. The Water Resources Commission will need to verify the benefit service area within the Warber Drain district – which will determine the assessment that the County will place on portions of the City and Township. It is expected that about 65% of this portion of the Warber Drain is located in the City with the remaining 35% benefiting the Township. ( Because the Township portion will be entirely located within the DDA district along Robbins Road, staff will recommend that the Township portion of the storm sewer assessment be funded by the DDA.)

5. Water Resources Commissioner Bush is hoping that the project can be bid and completed in 2019. ( However, the project could be delayed to Spring of 2020.)

Sewer Authority - Land Application of Sludge
The Sewer Authority Board approved a two-year land application contract with NutriGro to land apply the final biowaste product ( i.e., sludge) on farm fields at a cost of about 5 cents per gallon; or, about $485k annually. 

This is an increase↑ of about 42% over the past two years, due to transportation costs and environmental regulations.

The Sewer Authority is beginning to explore other options for disposing of the sludge; but, the capital costs for even modest approaches could readily exceed $10 million.

Permanent Absentee Voter List
Because of changes in state law, the Township sent a mass mailing three (3) weeks ago for voters to be included on the permanent absentee voter (AV) list, the Township received about 650 requests – which brings the total up to over 3,000 for the permanent AV list.

If you would like to be included on this list for absentee ballots, please contact Kristi DeVerney at kdeverney@ght.org or 616-604-6343.  
Sewer Treatment Plant Rehabilitation
The $13.5 million rehabilitation project of the Sewer Authority treatment plant has begun.

If you are interested in tracking this project, there is an update page that will be amended on a weekly basis by the engineering firm of Prein and Newhof. At this stage, the updates will mainly focus on the headworks portion of the project and the new force main under the Grand River.
Spring Yard Waste
The dates for the Spring Yard Waste program have been scheduled for Monday, April 8 th through Sunday, April 28 th. As in year’s past, these dates could be changed depending on the weather.
Assessed Values
The following graph shows the Township’s assessment roll is about $1.06 billion. Growth is expected to continue in 2019
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