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.
Electronic Meetings to Continue
Because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact of the “second wave” of infections, Grand Haven Charter Township will continue to have virtual, electronic meetings for the foreseeable future. 

Governor Whitmer approved legislation allowing for virtual meetings under the Open Meetings Act.

The Public Act requires an explanation within 18 hours of the meeting for why it needs to be held virtually, ensuring two-way communication for members to hear each other, posting agenda updates online and establishing how the public can view meetings.

All of the material for Township Board meetings may be viewed at ght.org/boards/meeting-packets/

This material is the same information provided to the elected officials – except any legal opinions that might be discussed in closed sessions. In addition, the agendas (and OMA postings) will contain information on how the public can participate in these Zoom meetings.
New Board to Take Oath of Office at Nov. 23rd Board Meeting
The Grand Haven Charter Township Board is substantially similar in terms of the members. Once member (i.e., Trustee David Gignac) retired and was replaced by a newly elected Trustee – Bob Wagenmaker. Trustee Wagenmaker is a local contractor and businessman who has served on the Township Planning Commission.

The Township Board now consists of the following seven members:

The Board will take their Oath of Office of their four-year terms during the Board Zoom meeting on Monday, November 23rd at 7:00 p.m.
Election Statistics
The following statistics are from the November 3rd Presidential Election:

  • There are 14,649 registered voters in Grand Haven Township
  • 7,777 absentee ballots were provided to voters
  • 7,414 absentee ballots were returned (i.e., over 95%)
  • 11,486 registered voters participated in the November 3rd Election (i.e., over 78%)

To view Ottawa County election results, please go the following link:
Fiscal Year 2021 Budget Approved
The Township Board unanimously adopted the budget for FY2021 – which begins on January 1st. The total budget revenue within all twelve (12) funds is projected at $12.67 million with total budget expenditures estimated at $15.30 million.

Although expenditures exceed revenues, the budget is “balanced” inasmuch as the difference is taken from the existing fund balances or cash reserves for planned capital improvement projects. Moreover, the budget is balanced since the fund balances or cash reserves will be at $8.22 million at the end of FY 2021.

Some of the highlights from the budget include the following:

  • $1.46 million will be utilized by the Fire/Rescue department to respond to medical emergencies, fires, vehicular accidents and other rescues.
  • $523k will be spent to supplement the work of the Ottawa County Sheriff’s department paying for a portion of five deputies that work exclusively within the Township.
  • $1.36 million for transportation activities, including:
  • $524k for Harbor Transit
  • $550k to pave 160th Avenue between Ferris Street and Lincoln Street
  • $250k to re-surface certain subdivision streets
  • $37k for dust control on gravel roads
  • $288k for restoring portions of the Pottawattomie Park waterfront
  • $162k to operate the Township’s two cemeteries
  • The Downtown Development Authority will fund certain capital projects, including:
  • $870k to extend sanitary sewer under US-31 to the west side of Hayes Street
  • $139k to install sidewalks on the east side of 172nd Avenue from the D&W complex to 172nd Avenue
  • $97k to construct a paved pathway on the south side of Rosy Mound Drive from the new High School field entrance to Lakeshore Drive
  • $30k to install a mid-block crossing of 172nd Avenue near Timberview Drive
  • $982k to maintain the Township’s 34 miles of pathway, including:
  • $315k to construct a paved pathway along 160th Avenue between Ferris Street and Lincoln Street (as part of the road paving project)
  • $150k to replace certain retaining walls and repairs to the Pottawattomie bayou crossing
  • $700k to extend municipal water along 160th Avenue between Ferris Street and Lincoln Street (as part of the road paving project)
  • $628k to purchase about 608 million gallons of potable water from the NOWS and Grand Rapids water treatment plants
  • $98k for a variety of state and federally mandated drinking water tests and reports
  • $443k for various water debt payments
  • $880k to relocate the outlet of the East Ferris sewer lift station to the west side of US-31 
  • $410k to upgrade and replace portions of the Hofma Park sewer lift station
  • $269k to process an estimated 112.3 million gallons of sewage
  • $108k for various sewer debt payments
  • $132K for the final debt payment of the administrative facility debt
  • $251k for the operation and maintenance of the Township’s Information Technology system

The budget also includes a 0.7% cost-of-living allowance to the employees′ wage scale.

If you are interested in reviewing a more detailed explanation of the Township′s FY2021 budget, the complete budget package can be found in the following Board packet link.
Library Survey
The Loutit District Library is completing their annual survey using SurveyMonkey.

In addition to regular library users, the survey is hoping to receive responses from those who do not use the library, are infrequent library users, or have had a less than stellar experience with the library.

The survey will close on November 20th and the library will award prizes to a few lucky survey respondents. Complete the entire survey and you will be eligible to win one of ten $10 Dune Dollar gift certificates, courtesy of the Friends of Loutit District Library.

Please answer this quick 13 question survey to help the library understand how they are doing serving our community. You can reach the survey at:
Hofma Floating Bridge Repair Approved
As you may recall, the Hofma Floating bridge was torn from its moorings and damaged during November of 2019. Because of the need to upgrade the supports, delays caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, and permitting requirements through the State of Michigan, repairs have been delayed.

Recently the Township Board approved a $132k bid from Riverworks Construction to upgrade the moorings (to prevent this type of damage from reoccurring) and reinstall the floating bridge. It is expected that repairs can begin in late Winter or early Spring.
Cost of Service Study
Utility Financial Services (UFS) recently completed a cost of service utility rate study for the water and sewer system. This is the fourth study that UFS completed for the Township over the past fifteen year. Working closely with this consultant has allowed the Township to maintain sufficient cash reserves within the Water and Sewer funds without having dramatic swings in utility rates.

In brief, fees for both the Water and Sewer systems are divided between a commodity charge that will vary depending upon the amount of water used (or sewage discharged) and a service charge that remains stable regardless of usage. (Trunkage and connection fees are also charged for new users that are “buying” into these systems.)

The study recommended that the revenues generated by these rates be increased↑ by 1% annually for each of the next five years for the water system and increased↑ by 2% annually for each of the next five years for the sewer system, beginning on January 1st.

It is important to note that these proposed increases are less↓ than the expected inflation rate and indicates that both the Water system and Sewer system remain in a strong financial position.
Township Questions?
If you have specific questions about Township operations, please send an email to bcargo@ght.org .
(616) 842-5988  | info@ght.org | www.ght.org