Expansions to Rosy Mound Natural Area and Ottawa Sands Park among projects included in proposal
State Reps. Greg VanWoerkom (R-Norton Shores) and Nancy DeBoer (R-Holland) are celebrating the inclusion of two Ottawa County recreational projects in the House state budget proposal they helped approve today. The plans include the Rosy Mound acquisition and the construction of a trailhead near Ottawa Sands Park.
The investments were two of the many projects recommended by the Natural Resources Trust Fund Board in December. The trust is funded by money acquired by development of minerals on state land, not tax dollars, and is designated on an annual basis in partnership with local governments.
If signed into law, the $2.3 million Rosy Mound acquisition would procure 127 acres of dunes northeast of the Rosy Mound Natural Area for the creation of a 291-acre park on Lake Michigan that would include lake and dune views, forested trails, and 3,160 feet of natural beach.
The $992,000 trailhead project near Ottawa Sands Park would include a paved parking area, a 1.6-mile paved loop around the lake, and a connection to the Idema Explorers Trail system.
“As a lifelong resident of this area, I appreciate the natural wonders surrounding us and the value they add to our communities,” VanWoerkom said. “I am pleased to see NRTF dollars being prioritized here, which ensure these important areas will be treasured for years to come.”
“We’re all so blessed to call beautiful West Michigan home, and these investments allow us to appreciate, celebrate and experience our natural surroundings even more,” DeBoer said. “I’m happy to vote to support local projects in Allegan & Ottawa Counties. Public access and recreation locally are important, and these projects enhance both.”
Other nearby investments outside of Ottawa County include the renovation of a concession and restroom building at Pere Marquette Park in Muskegon, and the development of a half mile stretch of the Blue Star Trail from Washington St. to Maple St. in Saugatuck, which will complete three continuous miles of trail.
The funding is contained in House Bill 4238 and now moves to be considered by the Senate.
Rep. VanWoerkom voted against the state budget proposal brought forth by House Democrats Wednesday, which he said drains the state’s multibillion-dollar surplus, creates new, unnecessary programs, and neglects the most essential needs in Michigan communities.
A bill introduced by Rep. Greg VanWoerkom (R-Norton Shores) protecting victims who are providing their impact statements during the justice process, was approved today by the state House.
Presently, a victim that is physically or emotionally unable to make an impact statement may designate an adult to do so on their behalf, but the victim must still be present in the courtroom to make a personal statement. This can require victims to relive what is often a traumatic event in the presence of their abuser. By appearing remotely, a victim of domestic or sexual violence can share their impact statement from somewhere that is safe and away from their abuser.
Rep. Greg VanWoerkom’s plan to provide crucial tax cuts for small businesses throughout Michigan is now state law.
House Bill 4054, now Public Act 30 of 2023, amends the state tax code to clarify that equipment used for industrial processing to produce aggregate materials such as gravel, sand, recycled concrete and other critical construction materials is exempt from sales and use tax.