City Of Saugatuck To Purchase New Oval Beach Cleaner & Tractor For $108,750
Saugatuck city leaders continue to take action meant to keep Oval Beach living up to its reputation as one of the most unique and beautiful beaches in the United States and the world (i.e, Conde’ Nast Traveler, National Geographic Traveler).
At Monday’s meeting, Saugatuck City Council approved more than $100,000 in equipment to clean the beach sand from common beach trash such as cigarette butts, dead fish, glass, natural debris, and so on.
The move comes on the heels of the council’s approval of about $330,000 two weeks ago for a complete reconstruction of the beach’s parking lot, plus a new turnaround at the entrance of Oval Beach.
Council members decided on the purchase of a beach cleaner - Barber 600HD Surf Rake - at cost of $53,750 and a tractor - John Deere 5085E - to pull that cleaner for a separate cost of $55,000.
The equipment, earmarked in this year’s budget, will be stored at the Saugatuck Public Works Department building on Blue Star Highway.
“I heard no complaints from anybody who had a Barber,” said Saugatuck City Manager Kirk Harrier, about his research with other beach communities in the region which use a Barber for beach cleaning. Those cities included South Haven, St. Joe, Grand Haven, etc.
Harrier says he wants to hire a person—or dedicate a current employee—specifically for beach cleaning, which will take place three times a week, during early mornings so that it does not bother beachgoers.
He is exploring the possibility of hiring out the new service to Dune Grass luxury housing development, which will be—if it comes to fruition—a revenue-generating enterprise.
“They (Dune Grass) are interested,” Harrier told council.
The city started to look at its beach cleaning options when the former cleaning company got out of the business, which did cleaning once a year.
Of the parking lot reconstruction, Harrier, once again, reiterated that Oval Beach and the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area will remain open to the public during the improvement project, with the exception of vehicular traffic.
The project is scheduled to be conducted during April but expected to be completed earlier than anticipated, before Memorial Day, he added, so residents and tourists can enjoy a great 2016 season.