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Grand Haven prioritizing road, water & sewer projects

6:11 PM, Feb 4, 2013   |    comments
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GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (WZZM) - Grand Haven city leaders are using a new rating system to deal with dozens of needed infrastructure improvements around the area. On Monday, the city council could move forward with a plan, which rates roads, water and sewer systems, to determine how badly the repairs are needed.

Grand Haven leaders say a stretch of Grand Avenue is the top priority for repairs, even though the problem isn't apparent from above ground.

"The issues are not only on the surface, it's easy to identify a road when it's crumbling," says Sam Janson, Grand Haven Assistant City Manager.

Grand Avenue is one of about 50 locations, which city leaders are rating for the first time. The new system is meant to prioritize infrastructure improvements.

"We assigned point values based on looking at each one, from one to four," says Janson.

Grand Avenue made the list because of its water system, which was given the lowest rating, a one out of four.

"We have to provide fire service and if we don't have enough pressure in that line to pull out of that hydrant, we wont be able to supply enough water," says Janson.

Woodlawn Avenue is also on the list because its sewer system was rated a one out of four, based on a number of factors.

"Are we having back up issues on that line? How often are we needing to flush that?" says Janson.

The city is also required by the state to rate streets, but that scale is out of ten.

City officials say most of the streets that need repairs are neighborhood roads, like Doris Avenue, which got a two out of ten rating.  The total cost for the project is estimated at $28 million. When asked how the city will come up with that much money, Janson responded, "The last time we did this, we requested $10 million from the public, and we did it through a one mill levy."

City leaders say the plan is focused on the long-term.

"If we only fix short term issues, we will only get short term solutions," says Janson.

If approved, the city is expected to have a finance plan by July. The goal is to have the improvements completed in the next 15 years.

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