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 .
PFAS Testing of NOWS Water
The North Ottawa Water System (NOWS) was tested two times in 2018 for PFAS ( sometimes known as perflourinated chemicals or PFCs) – a large group of manmade chemicals that are fire resistant, and repel oil, stains, grease, and water.

The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) analysis reported a “ not-detected” finding. However, NOWS also did preliminary sampling early in August that indicated a combined total (PFOA + PFOS) of 8.0 parts per trillion or ppt ( i.e., a level comparable to 8 seconds in 31,500 years).

What do these two different test results mean? In brief, NOWS had two different times of sampling and two different laboratories providing the analysis. Therefore, it would be expected that results are very close to each other, but not a perfect match. With this type of “infinitesimal analysis”, the outcome would have only created concern if one lab was extremely high and the other very low. However, both of the test results are well below the current standard of 70 ppt.

As with any testing parameter, it will require more assessments. And with additional testing, NOWS can further affirm the low levels of PFAS contaminants in our water.
MDEQ is recommending that NOWS continue to provide the analysis on a yearly basis. However, NOWS has decided to test for PFAS twice each year.

Road Commission Strategic Plan
The Road Commission released its Strategic Improvement Plan – which is done on an annual basis. With regard to the impact on major streets in Grand Haven Township, the following projects are noted:

1.       Comstock Street ( 1.95 miles from 168th Avenue to Mercury Drive) will be resurfaced in 2019 at an estimated cost of $834k.

2.       Lakeshore Drive ( 2.70 miles from Rosy Mound to Buchanan Street) will be resurfaced in 2020 at an estimated cost of $1.2 million.

3.       Mercury Drive ( 1.71 miles from Comstock Street to city limits) will be resurfaced in 2021 at an estimated cost of $725k.

4.       Mercury Drive ( 1.70 miles from Comstock Street to 144th Avenue) will be resurfaced in 2023 at an estimated cost of $765k.

5.       Ferris Street ( 2.00 miles from US-31 to 152nd Avenue) will be resurfaced in 2023 at an estimated cost of $824k.

6.       152nd Avenue ( 1.75 miles from Lincoln Street to Groesbeck) will be resurfaced in 2023 at an estimated cost of $819k.
Proposal One - Recreational Marijuana
Proposal 1 passed within the State of Michigan with about 57% of the vote.  However, the ballot measure failed in both Ottawa County ( with 57.6% voting “No”) and in Grand Haven Charter Township ( with 51.2% voting “No”).

Although the actual ballot language was 134 words, the full text of the initiative is about 6,515 words in length. As a result, the Marijuana Initiative is somewhat complex, and it is expected that the State of Michigan will need about 12 months to finalize the accompanying regulations. 

The Township elected officials will be considering whether to “opt out” of the commercialization of marijuana – meaning that the commercial sale of marijuana would not be allowed within the Township.

If it is decided that the Township should “opt out”, two ordinances would likely be adopted. The first ordinance will be a general “opt out” ordinance, prohibiting marihuana establishments as defined under the Michigan Regulation and Taxation of Marihuana Act.

The general “opt out” ordinance could be adopted quickly, so that the Township is on record as having opted out. A first reading of this ordinance could be held as early as November 26th.

The zoning ordinance will take longer to adopt because the ordinance must be the subject of a Planning Commission public hearing before it can be considered for adoption. The purpose of the zoning ordinance “opt out” amendment is to protect Grand Haven Township from being attacked for adopting only the general “opt out” ordinance and thus, arguably, regulating land uses without completing the zoning process.

A public hearing on the Zoning ordinance “opt out” amendment could be held as early as December 3rd. 

At this stage, staff is requesting that the elected officials provide some specific direction on whether to allow for the sale of marijuana within the Grand Haven Township.  
Homebuyer Education Classes
The Township financial supports the Neighborhood Housing Services program operated through the City of Grand Haven. This program will be offering Homebuyer Education for first-time homebuyers on November 13 th and 27 th from 5:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. This two-part class will help potential homebuyers understand the process from pre-qualification to closing, including insights into available grant programs for down payment assistance to protecting your investment.  

Assessing Director Schmidt reports that the results of Ottawa County Equalization Residential studies from 2018 have been released. These results translate into a 2.25 % increase in true cash value ( i.e., 1.125% assessed) for residential properties in Grand Haven Township.

These increases will be distributed among different neighborhoods based on our sales analysis of each individual neighborhood.

Grand Haven Charter Township needed the lowest↓ adjustment of residential properties for any of the 23 townships or cities in Ottawa County. This is reflection of excellent assessing practices of the Township’s Assessing Department.
Prime & Double Chip Street
The Township Board will include monies within the FY 2019 budget for use of the so-called “ Prime and Double Chip” method of constructing a surface on gravel roads.

In brief, this treatment entails covering a properly prepared gravel road with a layer of special liquid asphalt called prime, then a layer of small rocks is rolled and embedded in the liquid asphalt and the process is repeated. This process can extend the useful life of low-volume gravel roads that prevents water from penetrating the road surface, improves skid resistance, and suppresses road dust. Typically, an additional layer of a single chip seal should be considered every 5 to 7 years.

The Road Commission recommends that the process only be considered on roads that have a good gravel surface, good drainage, adequate width, and have lower↓ volume commercial and agricultural traffic. In addition, preparation work such as re-graveling, ditching, or other improvements may be necessary before the prime and double chip seal treatment is placed.

The Road Commission notes that they have had a positive experience where the treatment was placed on “ well prepared lower volume and in particular, dead end roads”.

On the negative side, it is important to realize that the thickness of the prime and double chip is only about ½ inch thick ( as compared to 3 inches for bituminous asphalt). Because prime and double chip is relatively “thin”, the maintenance of pothole can be a difficult and time consuming to provide a bonding patch.

With regard to costs, dust control treatment is about $1,750 per mile annually versus about $110,000 per mile for prime and double chip. Prime and double chip cost is about 63 times higher than dust control or, if compared over seven years, the cost is about 9 time higher than dust control. However, this is significantly less than normal bituminous paving.

Once completed, the Township would assume financial responsibility for placing a new layer of prime and chip on the roadways every five to seven years ( i.e., about $50k per mile ).

If you live on a low volume gravel road and would like to establish a special assessment district ( i.e., the Township would pay for 50% and the residents would pay 50%) for the Prime and Double Chip on your roadway, please contact Township Manager Bill Cargo at 616.604.6324 or bcargo@ght.org

If the Road Commissions determines that your gravel road is suitable for the Prime and Double Chip, the Township will prepare the necessary petitions and begin the special assessment district process.
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