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City receives $872,000 grant for industrial park

by Judy Reed

This photo shows West Street looking south, where the road and water and sewer will be extended to create an industrial park. Courtesy photo.

A federal grant to create a new industrial park will make it possible for at least two local businesses to expand and bring new jobs to the area.

The U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration announced on Monday that they are awarding an $872,220 grant to the city of Cedar Springs, Michigan, to provide critical infrastructure improvements needed to develop a new industrial park at the end of West Street.

“The development of a business park should bring in significant investment into the City, not only in jobs and property taxes but also employee customers for other local businesses, as they go to and from work and out for lunch,” said City Manager Mike Womack, who has been working on the grant for some time with City Finance Director Darla Falcon and the City Council. 

This EDA grant will be matched with $581,480 in local investment from the City, and is expected to attract an eventual $30 million in private investment, create 80 jobs, and retain 72 jobs.

The project will help fund the roadways, and water and wastewater infrastructure to establish the West Street Industrial Park in the City of Cedar Springs. The project will also create 55 acres of development-ready land for future growth opportunities. 

 “President Trump is dedicated to helping communities across the nation build the critical infrastructure they need to support business development and growth,” said U.S. Assistant Secretary of Commerce for Economic Development Dr. John Fleming. “This investment in Cedar Springs will help provide development-ready industrial space needed to attract new businesses and the high-skill, high-wage jobs they create.”

This photo shows a map of the West Street property area. Courtesy photo.

The project will extend West Street to the south, and extend water and sewer to two properties—725 West St NE and 730 West St NE. Those properties were formerly used as the City’s wastewater lagoons from 1965 to 1999, when they were closed. The total cost of the project is estimated at $1,453,700.

Two businesses already interested in expanding to the business park include J-Star Motion Corporation and Cedar Springs Brewing Company. 

J-Star, a manufacturer of adjustable height table bases, currently has a location on West Street with 35 employees, but are on the way to doubling that to 70 and cannot grow anymore in their current space. They said they would build a $275,000 square foot facility in the business park if the road and utilities were extended there. They said they would invest $22 million in building and $5 million in equipment, and add another 50 jobs on top of the 70.

Cedar Springs Brewing Company, located at 95 N. Main Street, is also running out of room for their manufacturing and package production. They are unable to grow in their current location, and there is no other site with city water that would be appropriate for their facility. They plan to increase the number of jobs by 30, and invest $1.5 million in construction and $1.5 million in new equipment.

A timeline has not yet been set for the project.

This project was made possible by the regional planning efforts led by the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission. EDA funds the West Michigan Regional Planning Commission to help bring together the public and private sectors to create an economic development roadmap to strengthen the regional economy, support private capital investment and create jobs.

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Cars collide at Main and Maple

A car pulled out into traffic from Maple Street and hit a vehicle southbound on Main St Monday. Post photo by L. Allen.

An intersection that can be difficult to navigate even during slower traffic periods was the scene of a crash Monday evening.

A section of Main St. was closed for a time Monday due to a crash at Maple and Main. Post photo by L. Allen.

According to the Kent County Sheriff’s Office, the crash occurred about 5:30 p.m. on Monday, July 1, at the intersection of Main and Maple Streets. Police said that an adult female pulled out into the intersection from Maple Street and hit a vehicle driven by an adult female that was heading southbound on Main.

Neither driver was injured and both refused medical help.

The driver who pulled out was cited for failure to yield.

The intersection can be difficult to navigate for two reasons: one, because it is hard to see oncoming traffic on Main when there are cars parked on Main right next to the intersection. That causes drivers to have to pull out further into the intersection to see, and that’s not always safe. And two, the sheer volume of traffic down Main Street at certain times of the day just makes it even more difficult to turn.

There will eventually be more parking in the area, but until then, you could play it safe and not turn onto Main from Maple Street. 

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Post travels to Battle Creek

The Post recently traveled with three members of the Sand Lake #1229 TOPS group (Take Off Pounds Sensibly) to the TOPS annual state recognition day in Battle Creek, Mich. The day is held to honor top loser and goals met for the year.

Traveling to the convention was leader Kay Johnston, weight recorder Tina Hansen, and Janice Hill. The three were volunteers at the convention.

Thank you so much for taking us with you!

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!

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Thief steals jet ski

Do you know anyone who suddenly has a new jet ski? 

According to the Algoma Township & Public Safety Facebook page, the 1985 Kawasaki Jet Ski pictured here was stolen from the Camp Lake area sometime between June 23 and June 26. 

Surveillance footage from a neighboring house shows vehicles in the area during the suspected time of the theft. They could possibly be the same vehicle. The nighttime video shows subjects loading what is thought to be the Jet Ski into the back of the car. The daytime video shows a very similar car driving back and forth past the Jet Ski on a previous day. The vehicle appears to be a late 90’s to early 2000’s red Saturn. If you have any information about this vehicle or regarding this theft, please contact Deputy Morin with the Kent County Sheriff’s Office at (616) 632-6181 ext. 4088.

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Make safe driving decisions this holiday weekend

Operation C.A.R.E. will run through July 7

The Michigan State Police (MSP) is reminding motorists to make safe driving a priority during the upcoming Fourth of July holiday. Troopers will be on the roads, joining their counterparts from across the country in the international traffic safety initiative, Operation C.A.R.E. (Crash Awareness and Reduction Efforts) to reduce or eliminate traffic fatalities and injuries.

“Help make this holiday enjoyable for everyone who is using Michigan’s roads,” said Col. Joe Gasper, director of the MSP. “We know that wearing a seatbelt can save your life; buckle up every single time and never get behind the wheel after drinking.”

The official Fourth of July holiday period begins at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday, July 3, and ends at 11:59 p.m. on Friday, July 5; however, troopers will continue this traffic safety focus through Sunday, July 7.

Last year, six fatal traffic crashes resulted in seven deaths over the Fourth of July holiday.

Operation C.A.R.E. began in 1977 as a collaborative effort between the MSP and Indiana State Police, and is one of the nation’s longest-running traffic safety initiatives. It focuses on deterring the three main causes of highway fatalities: aggressive driving, impaired driving and failure to use occupant restraints.

State police and highway patrol agencies from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, American Samoa, Guam, Puerto Rico, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, Ontario Provincial Police, Quebec Police Force and the U.S. Virgin Islands will be participating in this lifesaving traffic safety initiative. Operation C.A.R.E. also includes participation from police agencies affiliated with the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP).

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Adopt-a-Game-Area program helps restore grassland habitat

Volunteers stand by a kiosk recently installed at St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area.


While traveling to some of southern Michigan’s state game areas this summer, you might notice something new—kiosks highlighting habitat improvement efforts sponsored by the Adopt-a-Game-Area program.

A cooperative effort between Pheasants Forever, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Hal & Jean Glassen Memorial Foundation, the program gives individuals, corporations and foundations the opportunity to support grassland restoration projects on public lands that they use and enjoy. 

Grasslands restored through the Adopt-A-Game Area program benefit pheasants, deer, turkeys, waterfowl, cottontails, songbirds and native pollinators. Each acre restored is also open and accessible to the public, providing opportunities for hunting, birding and wildlife photography, and improved water and air quality for all Michigan residents.

The kiosks showcase property maps and information and educational materials about grasslands and grassland wildlife, and recognize sponsors who have contributed to habitat restorations there through Adopt-A-Game Area.

Kiosks have been installed at Maple River State Game Area, Allegan State Game Area, Sharonville State Game Area, St. Clair Flats State Wildlife Area, and St. John’s Marsh State Game Area.

Additional kiosks soon will be raised at Coldwater Lake State Park in Branch County, Shiawassee River State Game Area in Saginaw County, Nayanquing Point State Wildlife Area in Bay County and Verona State Game Area in Huron County.

Sponsors can earn Gold (over $25,000), Silver (over $5,000) or Bronze (over $500) sponsorship levels with their tax-deductible donations. In return, sponsors receive their name on the kiosk at their chosen game area, on the Michigan Pheasants Forever and DNR websites and social media accounts, in an annual press release and in publicity materials developed for organizations’ own use.

To learn more about the Adopt-A-Game Area program, including how you can become a sponsor today, visit MichiganPheasantsForever.org/AAGAP or contact Ben Beaman at bbeaman@pheasantsforever.org.

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Rotary Cow Plop Raffle Results


The winners of the Rotary Club’s recent Cow Plop Raffle were First Place, Dawn Broene of Lowell ($1000); Second Place, John Alle of Howard City ($350); and Third Place, Gerry Gebhardt of Cedar Springs ($150). 

The Rotary Club thanks everyone who supported this event. The club earned about $2,500 for its Good Works Budget. Five hundred dollars of that was used to purchase Meijer Simply Give Cards on the double match day resulting in a net donation of $1,500 to the Cedar Springs Community Food Pantry.

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New sign identifies Heart of Cedar Springs


From L to R: David Ringler (DDA), Carolee Cole (CBDT), Donna Clark (CS Public Library), Jerry Gross Sr. (City Council), Mike Womack (City Manager), Perry Hopkins (Chamber of Commerce and CBDT), Rose Powell (City Council), Renee Race (City Council). Courtesy Photo

The City of Cedar Springs unveiled the new sign last Friday that officially identifies the park surrounding the Library and amphitheater as the “Heart of Cedar Springs.”

The sign was unveiled at 5:30 p.m., just prior to a concert there in the park.

On hand for the unveiling were several people representing the Downtown Development Authority, Cedar Springs City Council, Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and Cedar Springs Area Chamber of Commerce.

City Manager Mike Womack gave a short speech thanking the DDA and CBDT members for the work that they are all doing to improve the downtown and the Heart of Cedar Springs area.

“The sign dedication is simply an acknowledgement of all the hard work that has been put in by businesses, charitable organizations, the Library and citizens to create an area worthy of being known as the Heart of Cedar Springs,” said Womack. “When I came to Cedar Springs in 2016, there was no library, there was no amphitheater, there was no meadow, there were no sculptures and there were no benches in the park. Where do you think the City will be in three more years?” he asked the crowd.  

The small crowd that was there responded optimistically with lots of talk about all the projects going on in the City, all the business development and people looking forward to the new fire station to be built.

The sign was purchased by the DDA and the installation cost was $321.50. It was approved by the City Council in March. 

This area has been named the “Heart of Cedar Springs” because it is believed that this is the area where the first establishment in Cedar Springs was built, near a flowing spring, when woods covered the area and the only road was a path through the woods between here and Laphamville (Rockford).

According to the Cedar Springs Story, by Sue Harrison and Donna DeJonge , Ora Lewis related that when his grandfather, Dennis Lewis, lived in Grand Rapids, he heard of a place far north called Cedar Springs. Near the road by the creek was a tavern, and close by were some Cedar trees and a large spring, giving the town its name. It was probably owned by John and Lydia Smith, who settled here in 1851. He ran a sawmill and their home was a log cabin in the forest, and also served as a pioneer hotel.

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Community Amphitheatre takes shape

CBDT praises City Council

Much of the work and materials on the new amphitheater in the Heart of Cedar Springs has been donated or done at a discounted rate. Courtesy photo.

City Councilors heard words of appreciation from the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) through representatives Kurt Mabie and Sue Wolfe at their June 13 meeting. The council was recognized for their ability to create and maintain a collaborative environment where businesses, organizations, and individuals could openly share ideas, goals and strategies that would enhance the community. The council was asked to pause, reflect, and celebrate all that has been accomplished.  

The Baker family enjoys one of the new park benches. Courtesy photo.

 Those include:

• One new and one expanded city park with one to be named Heart of Cedar Springs and the other one along Pine Street to be named soon. 

• A library with a community meeting room surrounded by a beautiful patio which overlooks the park and creek. 

• The North Country Trail completed and running through Cedar Springs with Trail Town Status coming soon to the City of Cedar Springs. 

• Two art sculptures placed along Cedar Creek. 

• New pavilion in Morley Park. 

• And NOW … a new amphitheater!

And it’s all paid in full. 

Items that are in process and coming soon include:

• Fire Station

• Veterans Tribute Park

• Benches, natural playground, flowing well and more in our city parks

Still on the dream docket are …

• Board walk along Cedar Creek

• Community Building

The CBDT representatives explained an amphitheater was built after statistics showing the best liked communities had amphitheaters that…

• Provide the community with a place to gather, celebrate, and enjoy a wide spectrum of cultural activities that enrich the lives of people. 

• Promote economic growth by bringing folks into downtown during both traditional and non-traditional times of the day.

• Promote physical, social, emotional and intellectual benefits through an outdoor experience.

 “The CBDT created a sub-committee called the Design Committee, comprised of architects, builders, designers, engineers, plumbers, teachers, dreamers and doers,” explained Wolfe. “Together they were able to get this amphitheater designed, engineered, located, and built for about $150,000—well below the original estimated cost of $ 780,000.” 

The City’s website flashes “Cherishing our Heritage. Embracing our Future,” said Wolfe. “This theme is exactly what the Design Team tried to follow with the amphitheater. The design is a close replica of the original train station that stood in this area many years ago. One of the two train lines was called the Fishing Line because it transported avid outdoorsman up north to Mackinaw. The fishing line logo will hang on the building along with one of the original signs that was on the train depot. Honoring our Heritage.” 

Amphitheater location factors addressed were visibility, accessibility, sun sets, elevations, and conservation, while still highlighting Cedar Creek, White Pine Trail, North Country trail, our cedar and other trees, and natural vegetation. 

Design features include excellence in acoustics, adequate electric hookups and lighting, storage and staging rooms, with attention to adding safety features such as video cameras and surveillance lighting. Materials were carefully selected to provide longevity and address low maintenance and possible damage repairs. 

“All that being addressed…per capita I believe Cedar Springs has one of the very finest amphitheaters in the country,” Wolfe said. 

Embracing the Future 

This past week has brought about significant progress on the amphitheater through the skilled and dedicated team of Cedar Springs based companies and Cedar Springs High School graduates dedicated to serving our community. The framing and metal roof are complete while the stone, siding, and interior are close to completion. 

Duane McIntyre, a 1976 CSHS graduate, licensed and experienced builder, has volunteered his time and skills as site manager and often a laborer as well. Glen (Butch) Hackbardt, 1985 CSHS grad and local builder, has served as the general contractor. Jason Emmorey, of Emmorey Masonry, along with Austin Emmorey and Corey Terrell both 2019 CSHS grads are honored to have laid the brick on both the library and now the amphitheater. Choice One Construction, out of Cedar Springs and co-owned by Steve and Chris West (2012 grad) are assisted by Devin and Mason Boomgaard. Kurt and Sue Mabie donated some additional trees along Maple Street. 

The cement pads and most of the benches are now installed and being used. “There is still an opportunity to have your own named bench in the Heart of Cedar Springs city park,” Wolfe explained. “A donation of $1,000 will give you naming privileges on a 4-foot bench and $1,500 will give you a 6-foot bench.” 

Much of the work and materials are being donated or done at a discounted price.   

The CBDT offered assistance and support in exploring the opportunities of operation at the amphitheater. “Some communities have created an Amphitheater Committee or Commission which could include representation from area schools, community players, DDA, Chamber of Commerce, local talent, musical merchants, cultural instructors, and others. An amphitheater mission will need to be created along with goals and objectives, rules and a fee structure. The committee could assist for events such as musical, theater, dance, poetry, and art presentations. Church gatherings. Family movies and pet shows. Maybe group work-out, martial arts, or yoga classes. So many possibilities. We hope our own local talent will share their gifts at the amphitheater,” Wolfe shared. 

Gordon Neville, a retired Army veteran with a combination of active duty and Army National Guard with 21 years of service of which most of his life has been centered around music, addressed the council to express his interest in assisting. Neville taught music and band for nearly 40 years, performing with military bands and rock bands in civilian life. While retired from public school teaching, he now has a part time position with Algoma Christian School as their band director. He is the director of Grand Little Big Band, which is a multi-generational Swing, Blues, and Jazz band.     

Once an occupancy permit has been secured, the council hopes to have a preliminary plan of operation in place. If you are interested in becoming involved please contact Sue Wolfe at 696.8432 or any other CBDT or City Council member.

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Post travels to Idaho


The Post traveled to Idaho with David Ringler at the end of May. Ringler and a friend personally drove samples of his beer from Cedar Springs Brewing Company to Idaho Falls for the International Beer Awards after his samples were lost in transit. The event was held by the North American Brewers Association, and a member of the board personally flew here to deliver the medals awarded to two of the beers. Küsterer Bier was named among the best weissbiers/hefeweizens in the land, taking Gold with the Küsterer Dunkelweizen and Silver with the Küsterer Original.

Are you going on vacation? Be sure to take along a printed edition of the Post and get someone to snap a photo of you or your family with it. Send it to us along with some info about your trip (where you went, who went along, what you saw) and send the photo and info to news@cedarspringspost.com. We will print as space allows. If you forget the Post, please do not photoshop it into the photo. Just take it with you next time!


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