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 .
Schmidt Land Donation Withdrawn
It is with great disappointment that the Township learned that donor Jim Schmidt withdrew his generous land donation for the proposed Schmidt Heritage Park.

The Township and Mr. Schmidt had been in discussions since August of 2017 to finalize a land donation agreement for a 74-acre parcel located on Ferris Street across from Hofma Park. Part of this process involved completing an environmental assessment, land surveys and descriptions, legal work, and developing a detailed plan and cost estimate of the proposed park.

Unfortunately, some residents of a nearby subdivision did not agree with the development of the proposed complex of jogging trails and sports fields. Further, there were legitimate financial questions raised by elected officials related to both the capital expenditures and future maintenance. 

Mr. Schmidt believed that there was too much “negativity” and opposition to the proposed land gift and decided to withdraw the land donation. 

Township Manager Cargo noted, “Most municipal projects encounter opposition from individuals or groups that have differing priorities or a well-intentioned desire to be fiscally responsible. However, in the face of this opposition, Mr. Schmidt was not convinced the Township would be able to develop the park in a manner that he would find satisfactory,” Cargo explained. 

“That said, I respect Mr. Schmidt’s decision to withdraw his proposed land donation and, to a certain extent, understand his frustrations,” Cargo said.

“I continue to believe that the initial land donation was very generous, that the proposed complex of sports fields would have been a great addition to the Township’s parks system, that the park would be an exemplary memorial to the Schmidt family, and that both current and future elected officials would have been able to fund the park through General Fund tax monies, gifts and grants,” Cargo explained.

“If there is any opportunity to revive the project at some future point, I am hopeful the Township and Mr. Schmidt can work together,” Cargo concluded.

Supervisor Reenders will remain in contact and continue discussions with Mr. Schmidt.

Leaf Drop-Off Dates
The Fall leaf drop off will start on Monday, October 22 nd and continue through Sunday, November 18 th at the drop-off site located behind the DPW Building at 13300 168th Avenue. 

The hours of operation are Monday through Friday 8:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.; Saturday from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.; and Sunday from 12:00 noon until 6:00 p.m. 

The drop-off is only meant for leaves, grass and similar yard waste. There is no dumping of wood, limbs or brush allowed.
Reducing Bank Fees
The Township collects about $25 million annually – mostly for schools and other government agencies. As such, bank fees and other collection costs are closely monitored.

Treasurer Kieft, Deputy Treasurer Larrison and Finance Director Sandoval recently met with representatives from the Township’s major banking partner to review the Township’s accounts. Currently, the Township has five bank accounts with the bank that provide many different features including remote deposit, positive pay, and ACH capabilities. However, along with these added features come added fees. 

After completing a review of the accounts structure and talking with the Township’s auditing firm, it was decided that one of the accounts could be eliminated … saving over $1,200 annually in fees.
Fire/Rescue Staffing
The Township Fire/Rescue department responds to about 1,200 emergency calls annually. And, this number is steadily increasing …

As the call volume continues to escalate, so does the chance of the station not being covered when the duty crew responds to an emergency. Therefore, to ensure coverage of the Fire/Rescue station during night-time emergency calls, the department has initiated a new staffing program that will have a third fire fighter available to cover the station from 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m.

The new staffing program will require one part-time staff member to respond to the station every time the duty crew responds to a call between 10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. Part-time staff will be responsible for covering 15 of these night-time shifts per year.
2019 Advanced Life Support (ALS) Rescue Truck
Grand Haven Charter Township is one of the few Fire/Rescue departments in West Michigan ALS certified. The department can provide the same advanced life support services as Ambulance companies, except for transportation which is handled by the North Ottawa Community Hospital Ambulance Authority.
However, because the department is ALS certified, it is required to have ALS equipment vehicles.

The new 2019 Fire/Rescue, Advanced Life Support (ALS) vehicle arrives in mid-September and is currently being prepared with the necessary emergency equipment. There is a slide out unit for the rear of the vehicle that is currently in production, emergency lighting will be completed on-site, and graphics will be designed and installed over the next few weeks. The new ALS truck will be in service by the end of October. 

The costs for this advanced life support vehicle are listed below:

Ford F- 250 XL crew cab 4X4     $33,463 
Push Bumper $413
Emergency Lighting                              $6,500 
Slide in truck bed organizer                 $6,490
Striping and Decals                               $2,200
Fiberglass Bed topper                           $2,300
Total Price $51,366

This new ALS vehicle will begin by responding to about 700 of the Township’s 1,200 emergency annual emergency calls.  

Residential Knox Boxes
Grand Haven Township Fire/Rescue has been using the Knox company for quick access into over 150 commercial, industrial and public assembly properties within the Township for fifteen years. The Knox company is now offering the residential version (i.e. the Home Box) with a single key vault that provides homeowners with the same secure rapid access system.

The residential box can only be opened with a master key that the firefighters bring with them on every call. Chief Gerencer said that the time saving devices are used most often by paramedics to quickly access an immobilized patient. The Knox Box also helps by preventing property damage if the firefighters need quick access.

The cost of the residential Knox Box varies depending on what model is chosen by the home owner. However, most models are under $175. A product authorization form can be obtained at the fire/rescue station or on line at knoxhomebox.com.
Annual Fire/Rescue Open House
Grand Haven Township Fire/Rescue department would like to invite you to their annual Fire Prevention Open House on Tuesday, October 9th from 5:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. There will be several different fire departments in attendance along with other emergency service organizations.

The Spectrum Health Aero Med helicopter will also be on display this year.
(616) 842-5988   | info@ght.org | www.ght.org