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Ottawa County Road Commission closing in on maxing winter budget

Ottawa County Road Commission closing in on maxing winter budget

OTTAWA COUNTY, Mich.—  Before this weekend’s storm,  the Ottawa County Road Commission says it was already over 70 percent through its budget for the entire winter season.

That budget pays for clearing, sanding and salting roads.  During a typical year, the County Road Commission will use about 20,000 to 25,000 tons of salt and 14,000 to 18,000 tons of sand, leading to a bill that can total $2 million- $3 million annually.  As of Jan. 10, 2014, the Ottawa County Road Commission already blew through $1.85 million of its $2.6 million budget.  The cost of salt isn’t helping; the Road Commission says the price per ton has nearly doubled since 2003.

During winter, the Ottawa County Road Commission operates 62 snow plows out of four garages located in Coopersville, Grand Haven Township, Hudsonville and Holland Township.  It can take the team up to three days to clear all Ottawa County roads after a typical snow storm.

 

City narrows search for new employee

City narrows search for new employee

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--   The City of Coopersville is narrowing its search to replace a longtime employee.

After 22 years of service to the city, Ken Ortquist will retire in March.  The city has received more than 20 applications for his position with the Department of Public Works and hope to begin interviewing candidates within the next two weeks.  The city hopes to have Ortquist’s replacement trained and ready to go when he leaves.

UPDATE: Randall Street expected to reopen by Tuesday

UPDATE: Randall Street expected to reopen by Tuesday

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--It opened for the weekend, but West Randall Street is closed once again.

Coopersville City Manager Steven Patrick says crews plan to finish repaving the roadway by Tuesday, weather permitting.  The road should reopen to traffic by Wednesday. Drivers will still have access to all downtown businesses during the final stage of the project, which began October 7 with crews replacing the water main.

Patrick says the city planned to replace the entire water main while reconstructing West Randall Street next year. However, the planning commission agreed to move up the water main project to this year,  after the pipeline burst during a planned water pressure increase earlier this year.

Railway leaders narrow search for locomotive's new home

Railway leaders narrow search for locomotive's new home

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--  The Coopersville & Marne Railway Board of Directors is narrowing the search for where to put a donated locomotive.

The Railway Board of Directors met Wednesday night to discuss a permanent home for the Benjamin F. Cooper.  The group originally planned to move the locomotive to a pocket park near the depot, but some community members were concerned the size of the historic train engine would overwhelm the space.

 Coopersville & Marne Railway President Jeff Du Pilka says of the six alternative sites under consideration, a space between the Farm Museum and Coopersville Historical Society seems to be the most popular one.  Du Pilka says the board is looking for a place that’s accessible for people who want to take photographs near the landmark.  The spot should also be highly visible to deter vandalism.

Planning commission green lights road commission move

Planning commission green lights road commission move

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.--  The Ottawa County Road Commission’s proposal to move its headquarters to Coopersville is moving forward.

The road commission wants to move its operations to 475 68th Avenue in about five to seven years.  Monday night, the Coopersville Planning Commission approved a special land use permit for the proposed project.  Only two people living near the lot attended the meeting to ask that a tree line buffering any potential noise remain intact.\

The planning commission’s approval comes with conditions; the road commission must come up with a preliminary site plan within two years.  If the planning commission approves of the plan, the special land permit will be extended for another five years.  Before that five year extension is up, the road commission will have to submit a final plan for construction.

Coopersville & Marne Railway Company temporarily halts train trips

Coopersville & Marne Railway Company temporarily halts train trips

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—A holiday tradition is about to roll down the tracks in Coopersville.

The Coopersville & Marne Railway Company will begin its Santa Train next week.  The group has temporarily halted all train rides through November 23 for track and equipment repairs.  The maintenance work began November 9.

The trains will begin chugging again November 30, when the Santa Train returns.

Coopersville Historical Society focuses on street rail history Nov. 7

Coopersville Historical Society focuses on street rail history Nov. 7

COOPERSVILLE, Mich.—The Coopersville Historical Society will delve into the history of Grand Haven’s street rail during a special presentation at the Coopersville Area District Library Thursday, November 7.

Paul Trap will present “Chasing Dummies: The History of Grand Haven Street Rail” starting at 7 p.m.  For more information, call the library at (616) 837-6809.