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Current Media Releases

January 17, 2017

Key piece of property added to North Ottawa Dunes

On Thursday, January 12 Ottawa County Parks closed on an 80-acre parcel expanding North Ottawa Dunes in Spring Lake, increasing the total acreage of the park to 593 acres.

The additional land is located on the eastern edge of the park and surrounded on three sides by park property. Because of its geography and natural features, it has been considered an integral piece to add to the park by both Ottawa County Parks and Spring Lake Township for a decade.

The land was acquired by way of a property exchange between Spring Lake Township and David C. Bos Homes, a negotiation spearheaded by Spring Lake Township. Ottawa County Parks contributed $400,000 from their millage for the property.

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January 5, 2017

Step it Up Fall Colors Program Success

The Step it Up Fall Colors program challenged participants to walk 225 miles over a seven week period. Every step participants took throughout the challenge counted toward their end goal. The 225-mile challenge represented a virtual hike along a Michigan segment of the North Country Trail. As participants recorded their weekly activity, they could also track their progress along the trail by using an interactive map that the county's IT/GIS department created.

A Healthy Catalyst Grant Award was awarded to Ottawa County Parks through mParks and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, allowing the fall program to continue to be offered to participants free-of-charge. Grant funding covered the cost of walking guides, route signage, Fitbits for weekly incentives, water bottles for participants, and a celebration at the end of the challenge.

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January 4, 2017

Thank you Ottawa County restaurants and retailers for working to keep alcohol & tobacco from minors!

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health, Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, Grand Haven Police Department, Holland Police Department and members of the ROADD Coalition recruit and train underage youth to go into establishments that sell alcohol and/or tobacco to attempt to make a purchase.

These compliance checks, partially funded by the Lakeshore Regional Partners, are an ongoing effort in Ottawa County to prevent the sale of alcohol and tobacco to minors. They help law enforcement and partnering agencies identify areas within the county that may need additional support, education and monitoring. The checks also serve as a tool for establishments to identify needs for additional staff training.

Sixty-six compliance checks were conducted countywide, during the last round. Twenty of the 29 checks in Holland passed and 35 of the 37 checks in Grand Haven passed. The locations that did not pass the alcohol check received a fine, and so did the staff member(s) who sold the alcohol. In addition, the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) was also notified of the alcohol sale. For the locations that did not pass the tobacco check, the clerk was fined and the MLCC was notified if the establishment also sells alcohol.

January 3, 2017

More Elected Officials Sworn In for 2017

The first Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meeting for 2017 was held this afternoon, beginning with the Oath of Office for all of the Commissioners, including the newly elected Frank Garcia representing District 1. The Board then elected Greg DeJong of District 8 as the new Board Chairperson and Roger Bergman of District 10 as the new Vice-Chairperson.

The Ottawa County Board of Commissioners meets at 1:30 pm on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. Meetings are held at the Ottawa County Administration Building located at 12220 Fillmore Street in West Olive. Agendas and information packets are posted on the Meeting Calendar. The public is invited to attend Board Meetings.

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December 22, 2016

Pigeon Creek Holiday Hours

The weather forecast looks great for skiing for weeks to come! Anticipating optimal ski conditions this holiday season, these are our Pigeon Creek Lodge holiday hours:

  • Christmas Eve: 9 am - 4 pm (last ski rental at 2:30 pm)
  • Christmas Day: CLOSED
  • December 26 - December 30: 9 am - 10 pm (last ski rental at 8:30 pm)
  • New Year’s Eve: 9 am - 8 pm (last ski rental at 6:30 pm)
  • New Year’s Day: 9 am - 8 pm (last ski rental at 6:30 pm)
  • January 2: 12 pm - 8 pm (last ski rental at 6:30 pm)

The lodge is only open during good ski conditions. If you aren’t sure if the lodge is open, call our hotline: (616) 738-9531. Winter Park hours during good ski conditions: 7 am-10 pm

December 14, 2016

Ottawa County Parks is hiring - join us for a job fair

Ottawa County Parks is searching for candidates interested in working outside over the summer. The opportunities would be perfect for students (18+) who are home on break, retirees who want to spend more time outside, or anyone interested in the parks and looking to make some extra money during the summer months.

The Parks Department will employ over 60 seasonal employees for the 2017 season. There are many lakeshore jobs available, but opportunities exist at parks throughout the county. Because of the large number of seasonal hires, the Parks Department will be hosting a job fair on Tuesday, January 3 from 9 am -12 pm at the Nature Education Center at Hemlock Crossing County Park (8115 West Olive Road, West Olive).

Interested candidates can expect immediate interviews with Parks Management. There is a potential for on-the-spot hires. Computers will be available for on-site online application, but candidates may review available positions and apply online before the job fair event: Jobs are currently posted online. We encourage anyone who may not be able to attend, such as a high school senior who would be in school that day, to apply online in December.

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December 12, 2016

Pigeon Creek Lodge opens today at noon

Happy Snow Day, Ottawa County! The Pigeon Creek Lodge will open for the first time this season today at noon. The facility offers ski and snowshoe rentals, refreshments, and warm hospitality by the fieldstone fireplace. There are no entry fees or trail fees, however those wishing to rent skis or snowshoes will pay between $5 and $8 for two hours of fun in the snow.

Pigeon Creek County Park offers over ten miles of cross-country ski and snowshoe trails which meander through deep-rooted pine plantations, hardwood forests and peaceful wetlands along the Pigeon River. A large, lit sledding hill is also available at the park.

While dependent on snow conditions, the ski lodge is generally open:
Monday through Thursday from 4-8 pm
Friday from 1-10 pm
Saturday from 9 am-10 pm
Sunday from 9 am-8 pm

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December 8, 2016

Death of Commissioner Van Dam

It is with tremendous sadness that Ottawa County learned of the passing of District Six Commissioner Dennis Van Dam. Van Dam passed away at his home on Tuesday morning, December 6, surrounded by loved ones. He was 64. Van Dam had been undergoing treatment for cancer and recently began hospice care.

Dennis was known and admired by elected officials, community leaders, county employees and residents. He leaves behind a legacy of integrity, selflessness and excellence. As an elected official, he embodied the highest ideals of public service, always doing what he believed was right, even if it was not popular. He was a steadfast, fiscal conservative who passionately served Ottawa County and the State of Michigan.

Ottawa County's sincere condolences are with his wife, Sharon, his children and loved ones. May they find some comfort knowing that Dennis has made Ottawa County a better place.

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November 29, 2016

County Signs MDEQ Loan to Help Fund Construction of New Credit Union Branch on Brownfield Site in Spring Lake Village

On November 1, the Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (OCBRA) signed the final documents for a Brownfield Redevelopment Loan from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) that will help fund the construction of Ottawa County’s first Best Financial Credit Union branch office.

The site, located at the corner of Savidge and School Streets, is a current “brownfield” due to the presence of environmental contamination in the area, which requires additional investment in order to address the contamination issues and redevelop the site in a responsible manner. The MDEQ loan will provide close to $130,000 in funds for activities such as dewatering, vapor intrusion barrier installation and removal of contaminated soil. The loan will be repaid using revenue from the increased tax increment generated from the property as authorized under a Brownfield Plan that was approved by the County in August of this year.

For more information about redeveloping brownfield sites in Ottawa County and the tools available, contact the OCBRA at 616.738.4852.

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November 16, 2016

Ottawa County Parks Announces T-Shirt Design Contest

Ottawa County Parks is having a t-shirt design contest. Up to five designs from eligible entries will be chosen to print on shirts and sold at the Nature Education Center. One Grand Prize will be awarded.

The Grand Prize winner will receive a 2017 Ottawa County Parks pass, free t-shirt of their design, and one free rental of a premium Ottawa County Parks facility (Grand Ravines Lodge, Weaver House at Pine Bend, Cabin at Connor Bayou). Artists whose designs are printed will receive a free t-shirt with their design and a 2017 Parks pass.

Entries must be received by 5 pm on Sunday, January 8. Submissions should be sent via email to or delivered to the Parks Administrative Office (12220 Fillmore St, West Olive, MI 49460). If submitted via email, you will receive a confirmation of submission by the next business day.

Entries will be narrowed down by Monday, January 16. Public voting will begin on Facebook on Tuesday, January 17 and end on Monday, January 23. Winners will be chosen by Friday, January 27.

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November 7, 2016

Five people in Ottawa County received hepatitis A vaccine after eating recalled frozen strawberries

Since Friday, November 4, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) confirmed with Ottawa County hospitals and pharmacies, which have hepatitis A vaccines available, that five people who were exposed to the contaminated frozen strawberries in Ottawa County received the hepatitis A vaccine. If you ate any of the products at the food establishments listed, vaccination with hepatitis A vaccine is encouraged up to 14 days after ingestion to help prevent contracting hepatitis A disease. This vaccine is only effective for up to 14 days after exposure. Check with your health care provider to see if you’ve already received the hepatitis A vaccine. If it’s been more than 14 days and you’re experiencing symptoms of hepatitis A, contact your health care provider immediately. At this time, there have been no reported cases of hepatitis A in Ottawa County related to this outbreak.

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November 4, 2016

Frozen Strawberry Recall and Hepatitis A

The Ottawa County Department of Public Health (OCDPH) is working closely with the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (MDARD) and the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) on a nationwide recall of frozen strawberries that were contaminated with hepatitis A. Upon notification on November 3, 2016, The OCDPH response team has been working closely with local food establishments and organizations that received potentially contaminated frozen strawberries to identify dates they may have been served and to ensure all products have been removed. No frozen strawberries were sold directly to consumers. At this time, there have been no reported cases of hepatitis A in Ottawa County related to this outbreak.

Hepatitis A can be prevented through vaccination with the hepatitis A vaccine. Check with your health care provider to see if you’ve already received the hepatitis A vaccine. If you have not received two doses of the vaccination and have consumed strawberries or a strawberry product at the facility noted below in the past 14 days, it is recommended that you receive a hepatitis A vaccine as soon as possible. The vaccination can also prevent illness from exposure to contaminated food if given within two weeks of said exposure.

The following Ottawa County locations received and served the potentially contaminated strawberries in the past 14 days:

  1. 8th Street Grille, 20 W 8th St, Holland (strawberry shakes)
  2. Biggby Coffee #323, 7589 Cottonwood Dr, Ste E, Jenison (smoothies with strawberries)
  3. Biggby Coffee #425, 510 W Savidge, Spring Lake (smoothies with strawberries)
  4. Holiday Inn Grand Haven, 940 W Savidge St, Spring Lake (strawberry vinaigrette)
  5. Jackie’s Place, 451 W 17th St, Holland, (strawberry sauce – pancakes)

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October 28, 2016

Make Halloween Safe & Fun

Soon our streets, sidewalks and walkways will be scattered with children trick-or-treating this Halloween, with many festivities beginning this weekend. The Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office gives the following safety tips:

  • Dress in Safe & Visible Costumes: Children’s costumes and masks should not be restrictive. The masks should have adequate holes for breathing and provide wide openings for peripheral vision. Kids should wear reflective clothing or carry a flashlight or glow sticks.
  • Take a photo: In the event of an emergency, up-to-date photos of your children plus photos of them in their costumes will be important.
  • Sign-Up for Smart911: If you are an Ottawa County resident, you can visit to set up a profile. You can add valuable information about your entire family that will display automatically on the 911 operator's screen should you ever need to call. You can include photos, medical conditions, pets, bedroom locations and more.

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October 20, 2016

Author Nancy Jo Sales to Speak at Juvenile Justice Vision 20/20 Event

Award-winning author of "American Girls: Social Media and the Secret Lives of Teenagers," Nancy Jo Sales, will be addressing juvenile justice professionals from across Michigan on October 27, 2016.

Sales will be speaking at the Juvenile Justice Vision 20/20 Girls Matter Fall Training Event at Grand Valley State University’s Pew Campus in downtown Grand Rapids. The event, which takes place on October 27-28, will focus on addressing the specific needs of girls in our communities and those within the juvenile justice system. Participants will receive a copy of Sales’ book as part of their registration and the event will include a book signing.

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October 6, 2016

Ottawa County Prescription Drug and Opiate Taskforce in collaboration with Ottawa County law enforcement agencies are taking back unwanted prescription drugs – Saturday, Oct 22

On Saturday, October 22, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. the Ottawa County Prescription Drug and Opiate Taskforce and local law enforcement agencies will give the public an opportunity to prevent pill abuse and theft by ridding their homes of potentially dangerous expired, unused, and unwanted prescription drugs.

The service is free and anonymous, no questions asked. The Drug Take Back Event sites cannot accept liquids or needles or sharps, only pills or patches.

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October 6, 2016

Get the scoop at "Cones with Cops" event in Zeeland

The Sheriff's Officers in Zeeland invite the community to an upcoming meet-n-greet on October 10 from 4-6PM. Join them at the American Char Q & Cones in Zeeland for the scoop. (6394 Adams Street)

Cones with Cops is an informal time where residents of all ages can meet their local law enforcement teams, ask questions and introduce concerns.

The majority of contact law enforcement has with the public happens during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community. Cones with Cops breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed interaction.

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October 3, 2016

Special Dog Park Event

We've had some challenges with the weather, but we think the third time will be a charm! We are excited to announce that the Grand Ravines Dog Park will be partnering with GVSU Colleges Against Cancer for a 2-in-1 event supporting the American Cancer Society Relay For Life! Join us for GVSU's annual Bark for Life and our Dog Days of... Fall celebration.

You’ll be able to enjoy the park, see the renovation progress, and have the opportunity to support both the dog park and the American Cancer Society.

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September 21, 2016

Land Recording Fees to Change to “Flat Fee” for all Documents

Beginning October 1, 2016, recording fees for all documents recorded in the Register of Deeds office will be “flat fee” of $30 per document. Currently, the cost of recording documents is based upon a $14 charge for the initial page, and $3 for every subsequent page.

This legislative change was supported by the Michigan Association of Registers of Deeds and the Michigan Land Title Association, in response to new consumer protection regulations instituted by the federal government in late 2015. The new regulations create a mandatory extension of the closing date for properties if the closing documents are rejected by the Register of Deeds Office, which delays the closing process for consumers.

The $30 flat fee amount is based upon a statewide average of the fees currently assessed to record documents under the existing “per page” fee structure.

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September 20, 2016

Drug Court Celebrates Third Recovery Coach Academy

The 20th Circuit Court is pleased to announce the Adult Drug Treatment Court, a specialty program for non-violent felony offenders with acute substance use disorders, recently hosted their third Recovery Coach Academy. To date, 66 people from across West Michigan, who are in stable and sustained recovery from drug or alcohol addiction have participated in the academy.

Priscilla Shafor and Anthony Sledge, certified peer recovery coaches for the drug court, organized and co-facilitated the academies.

The Recovery Coach Academy is funded by a 3-year federal grant from SAMHSA, designed to enhance substance use disorder treatment services available to the drug court. The drug court’s day-to-day operations, however, remain dependent on state grant dollars and the continued financial support of Ottawa County. For questions about enrolling in the recovery coach academy please contact Priscilla Shafor at 616-396-5284.

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September 19, 2016

Special Event at the Historic Poor Farm

The Poor Farm was a haven for indigent people who, due to the happenstance of birth, misfortune, or poverty, were in dire straits and needed a place to call home—a sanctuary staffed with people who could nurse them to better health. Now, as Eastmanville Farm, it provides hiking and equestrian trails to outdoor enthusiasts.

Celebrate the rich history of the Poor Farm on Saturday, October 1 from 11 am-5 pm. That day you can expect historical re-enactors, local musicians, and special exhibits honoring the residents and workers of the farm.

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September 15, 2016

Ottawa County Sign Unveiling Celebration for the Preservation of the Hehl Farm

The Ottawa County Agricultural Preservation Board is pleased to announce that it closed on its first permanently preserved agricultural property on August 24, 2016. The Hehl Farm, a 34.9 acre hog and cattle farm in Polkton Township, is the first farm permanently preserved by the Ottawa County Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program.

the Agricultural Preservation Board is holding a sign unveiling celebration on September 29, 2016 at 4:30 p.m. The sign unveiling celebration will feature guest speaker Carl Bednarski, President of the Michigan Farm Bureau. A picnic will be held immediately following the sign unveiling. The celebration will be held at the Hehl Farm located at 14468 88th Avenue, Coopersville, MI 49404.

If you are interested in attending the Hehl Farm Preservation Sign Unveiling Celebration, please RSVP by September 22 at (616) 738-4852, via email at, or electronically at the Ottawa County Events site.

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September 13, 2016

Agreement approved for 80 acres additional acres at North Ottawa Dunes

Ottawa County Parks is thrilled to announce the Board of Commissioner's approval of an agreement to acquire of 80 acres of property for North Ottawa Dunes. Approval by Ottawa County Board of Commissioners follows the Spring Lake Township Board approval of the agreement on Monday night (September 12).

The privately-owned parcel, locally known as the "Brill Property," is located on the eastern edge of the park and surrounded on three sides by park property. Because of the parcel's geography and natural features, it has been considered a key segment for the park by both Ottawa County Parks and Spring Lake Township for a decade.

The land will be acquired by way of a property exchange between Spring Lake Township and David C. Bos Homes, a negotiation spearheaded by Spring Lake Township. Ottawa County Parks will contribute $360,000 from their millage for the property.

The property exchange is expected to be finalized in 30 days.

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September 9, 2016

Brownfield Plan Approved to Construct Best Financial Credit Union's First Ottawa County Branch Office

On August 23, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approved a Brownfield Plan that will pave the way for Best Financial Credit Union (Best FCU) to construct their first Ottawa County branch office in the Village of Spring Lake.

The Brownfield Plan will allow Best FCU to utilize Tax Increment Financing to help offset the cost of the cleaning up this contaminated site at the corner of Savidge and School Streets, just north of Millpoint Park along the Grand River. The site is a current “brownfield” due to the presence of contamination from previous industrial uses.

Site plan approval by Spring Lake officials is pending, and, if approved, Best FCU hopes to close on the property on December 1, 2016. After investing $1,150,000 in the purchase and improvement of the property, Rescorla estimates they will hire 4 full time and 3 part time employees at the new Spring Lake location. Best FCU currently has two locations to serve their members, both located in Muskegon. They offer members a wide range of financial services including loans, savings accounts, checking accounts and credit cards.

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September 8, 2016

Ottawa County Announces the Completion of Phase I of the Spoonville Trail

Ottawa County is excited to announce the completion of Phase I of the Spoonville Trail. To celebrate the completion of this non-motorized pathway, a Ribbon-Cutting and Donor Recognition Ceremony will be held on Friday, September 16th at 4:00 p.m. The Ceremony will feature guest speaker, State Representative Amanda Price. The event will be at the Spoonville Trail located at 12300 North Cedar Drive, Grand Haven, MI 49417. Due to limited parking, carpooling is encouraged.

Register for the free event here.

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September 2, 2016

Dog Days of Summer, Special Event - rescheduled

Please join us for the Dog Days of Summer Event! Saturday, September 10 from 2-4 pm at the Grand Ravines Dog Park.

Enjoy the park and participate in a raffle to help raise funds for future amenities: shade structures, more paths, paved parking lot, and modern restrooms. The grand prize is a 50/50 raffle... lots of other prizes will be available!

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August 30, 2016

Area Church Leaders Invited to Security Workshop

Safety and Security is becoming increasingly important for places of worship.

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is inviting area church leaders to security and safety workshops. The workshops are planned at Spring Valley Church (5947 Lake Michigan Drive, Allendale) on September 13 from 6-9PM and September 27 from 6-9:30PM. The events are free but registration for each date is required.

Register for September 13 or Register for September 27

Participants are NOT required to attend both sessions, however each session covers different material.

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August 15, 2016

Ottawa & Allegan County, lace up your walking shoes & get ready for a free 7 week challenge.

Ottawa and Allegan Parks and Recreation and Department of Public Health are teaming up to bring the community another Step it Up! Walking Challenge this September.

This fall, participants will “virtually walk” 225 miles along the North Country Trail in the Upper Peninsula. The challenge begins on Monday, September 19.

This program is designed to help the community stay active as the weather cools. Participants of all fitness levels are invited to join and track their activity. Those who report their weekly steps and activity will be entered to win a Fit Bit fitness tracker; one will be awarded each week of the challenge.

Participants will be able to track their individual progress online, including their cumulative steps taken. The Ottawa County GIS Department designed a map for those walking to see how far they've made it along the virtual trail.

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August 10, 2016

Dog Days of Summer, Special Event

Please join us at the Dog Days of Summer Event! Saturday, August 20 from 2 - 4pm
Grand Ravines Dog Park, Jenison

This year Ottawa County Parks will be thanking the Hudsonville-Jenison Community Foundation for their generous donation of $10,000 and the Chow Hound Pet Supplies community who helped contribute a match! 

Donations and proceeds will go toward the park developments coming soon: shade structures, more paths, paved parking lot, and modern restrooms.

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August 5, 2016

Ottawa County Parks deer hunting lottery is open through September 1.

Deer hunting plays a crucial role in conservation and ecosystem management. Deer are prey species and without predators they can become overabundant can degrade the diversity of our natural areas. Humans have long been an important predator of deer, keeping our ecosystems balanced.

Ottawa County Parks & Recreation offers hunting on over 3,340 acres of selected properties with some restrictions intended to protect hunters and park visitors alike. Of the 16 properties where hunting is allowed, three properties require special permits each year: Crockery Creek Natural Area, Upper Macatawa Natural Area and North Ottawa Dunes. Lottery drawings are held prior to the hunting periods at each of these sites. 

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August 4, 2016

Get the scoop at "Cones with Cops" event

The Sheriff's Officers in Spring Lake-Ferrysburg have traded in hot coffee for cool cones at an upcoming meet-n-greet on August 16 from 7 - 8:30pm. Join them at the Front Porch in Spring Lake for the scoop and a half-priced ice cream cone. (618 East Savidge Street

Cones with Cops is an informal time where residents of all ages can meet their local law enforcement teams, ask questions and introduce concerns. 

The majority of contact law enforcement has with the public happens during emergencies or emotional situations. Those situations are not always the most effective times for relationship building with the community. Cones with Cops breaks down barriers and allows for a relaxed interaction. 

The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office held several similar and successful "Coffee with Cops" events over the past year. 

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August 3, 2016

Popular active shooter response class offered again August 10

"Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" class repeated 

What should you do in the case of an active shooter? Hide? Evacuate? Doing the right things can increase your odds of survival. The Ottawa County Sheriff's Office is again offering the popular "Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" training. This thought provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance, and a plan for surviving an active shooter event. Register today. The class is on August 10 from 6-9PM at the Ottawa County Fillmore Complex's Administration Building at 12220 Fillmore Street in West Olive. The event is free but registration is required. Space is limited. Visit to register. Participants must be 18 years of age or older. A pictured ID is required.

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August 2, 2016

The Road | August 2016

Building a Better Mousetrap
The Road Commission is pleased to announce that the Wing Hinge Bracket was the winner of the 2016 Great Ideas Challenge. Michigan’s Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP) sponsors the contest to help identify, share, and reward the great work that is performed by local road agencies in Michigan. The entry will be submitted into the Build a Better Mousetrap National Competition that is sponsored by FHWA.

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August 1, 2016

Five things to do before the August 2 election

Five things to do NOW

5 - Save time at the polls. Study your ballot in advance.

4 - Find your polling location.

3 - Plan a time to vote. Polls are open from 7AM to 8PM on Tuesday, August 2, but lines are typically shorter in the morning.

2 - Subscribe to receive unofficial election results via text or email.

1 - Find us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or Clerk/Register on Facebook. Use the hashtag #ocMIvotes. 

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July 29, 2016

Check it out: Ottawa County sends $820,000 to the libraries  

Bradley Slagh, Treasurer of Ottawa County, is sending out $820,766.85 in checks to nine local libraries from fines collected by Ottawa County Courts.  

The Michigan State Constitution of 1963 requires that all penalties collected for violations of the state penal laws be divided into court costs, statutory fees and penal fees. The penal fines are placed in a library fund to be used for the support of public libraries and a county law library. 

"In recent years the total has ranged from $700,000 to over $1,020,000 depending on the amount of citations written using the state penal code and the fines levied by the court," Slagh said. "This year the total fines collected and disbursed are down almost $200,000 from last year’s high water mark of $1,020,000."

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July 27, 2016

Parks Millage Renewal Information

On August 2, 2016 voters will have the opportunity to renew and restore the Ottawa County Parks & Open Space Millage. 

Ottawa County’s system of parks and open spaces is made possible by voter support of the Ottawa County Parks & Open Space Millage. 

Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approved ballot language for the renewal and restoration of the County Parks and Open Space Millage. If approved, the millage will provide funding for improving, operating, maintaining, and acquiring parks and open spaces in Ottawa County from 2018 through 2027. The millage would generate an estimated $3.5 million annually for maintenance and development of county parks.

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July 26, 2016

Ottawa County Website Ranks Seventh Nationwide Among Government Websites

The Center for Digital Government and the National Association of Counties have announced the winners of the 2016 Digital Counties Survey, naming among the leading government websites in the country. The annual survey recognizes the best technology practices among U.S. counties, including initiatives that save tax dollars through newfound efficiencies; boost transparency, cybersecurity and engagement; or innovate through unique and exciting projects. Ottawa County earned the seventh spot in the nation compared to counties of similar size. Ottawa has made the top ten on the national list during seven of the past eight years.

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July 26, 2016

Accessible beach wheel chair now available for use at North Beach ParkBeach wheel chair

Thanks to a generous donation from the Friends of Ottawa County Parks, there is now a Mobi Chair, an accessible beach wheel chair available for the public to use free-of-charge at North Beach Park in Ferrysburg. The wheel chair was designed to navigate the sand and can also float in the water!

"Friends of Ottawa County Parks is pleased to help provide this type of equipment to Parks users. Opportunities to increase accessibility or encourage park experiences for all ages and abilities are priorities for this us," said Alice Hoban, President of Friends of Ottawa County Parks. "Support from memberships, donations, and fundraising activities allows this all-volunteer organization to respond quickly when a need arises. We hope we'll see some pictures of the chair in use!"

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July 20, 2016

Election Results Alert. Are you signed up?

Receive unofficial election results via text or email. It takes just a few moments to enroll.

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July 15, 2016

Green Light for M23.1k Run & Relay 2016

Registration opens 8AM on Friday, July 15

It's not often that a new, major highway is shut down to traffic. That is exactly what is happening on the morning of October 1, 2016 on the M231 Highway. There are no repairs to be made. Instead, Ottawa County is partnering with the Michigan Department of Transportation to offer the Michigan's Credit Unions M23.1k Run & Relay. The M231 Highway stretches seven miles through the spectacular, rolling countryside and over the Grand River in West Michigan. Runners can choose from a 23.1k run or relay. The three-person relay offers legs between 5k and 10k split over the same 23.1k course. For those who are metrically impaired, that is 14.35 miles.

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July 11, 2016

Step it Up! Walking Challenge sees excellent results

As a group, the Step it Up! participants walked 106,609.6 miles. That's four times around the world!

From April through June, the Ottawa County Department of Public Health and Ottawa County Parks collaborated to present a free walking program to county residents, encouraging them to get outside and get moving after a cold winter. Each week participants were presented with a goal mileage to keep them on track throughout the challenge. 

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July 7, 2016

Meet Ottawa County's Juvenile Justice Institute Class of 2016

The 20th Circuit Court-Family Division-Juvenile Court proudly announces the first graduates from the Juvenile Justice Institute. Mr. Johnny Nguyen (Holland Public Schools) and Mr. Karas Bayko (Hudsonville Public Schools) earned their high school diplomas via the Institute. Both students have plans to attend college this fall.

At-risk youth need options in order to keep them engaged in their education and prevent them from dropping out of school. These students are smart, creative and capable young people. The extended opportunity for students to receive a high school diploma from their local school through attendance at the Juvenile Justice Institute is a critical step in the students’ success. Completing their educations allows them to contribute their knowledge, skills and abilities to the Ottawa County community, making it a better place for all to live. The Ottawa County Juvenile Court contracts with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District to provide this unique educational program. 

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July 7, 2016

Training on Marijuana Trends by Officer Jermaine Galloway

Community Mental Health of Ottawa County is hosting the upcoming training on Marijuana Trends which will be taught by Officer Jermaine Galloway on Friday, September 2, 2016.  Officer Galloway is a nationally and internationally recognized instructor and is well known for his countless hours of research on alcohol and drug trends.  He has been an Idaho law enforcement officer since 1997 and has more than 15 years’ experience in underage drinking, drug, and alcohol enforcement.  

Officer Galloway will be discussing Marijuana Trends: Huffing, Dabbing, Doping, Stashing, Clothing and Legalization influences.  This training is for people who are involved in prevention, education, treatment, or enforcement to provide them with a better understanding of the sweeping changes happening in the drug cultures. 

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July 7, 2016

Opioid Overdose Reversal Kits & Training

People overdosing on opioids is a growing problem in Ottawa County, as well as across the country.  Opioids are substances, or chemically resemble substances, originally derived from the opium poppy.  Opioids can include medications prescribed by a doctor to treat chronic or acute pain but also illegal drugs like heroin used for their euphoric effects.  When a person overdoses on opioids, their breathing shuts down - leading to death.  Overdose deaths are on the rise, so we need to work to address the problem.  There is a medication that can temporarily reverse the overdose effects and provide time to get the victim medical attention.  The medication is called Naloxone.  There is a nationwide effort to make Naloxone available to individuals who use opioids.

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June 15, 2016

Ottawa County Receives National Achievement Award

Ottawa County is pleased to announce that it is the recipient of a 2016 Achievement Award from the National Association of Counties (NACo).  The award was given to the County for its work in helping to develop “Imagine Hudsonville 2030”, the new Citywide Master Plan for Hudsonville. 

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June 14, 2016

Residents report Ottawa County on the right track

Ottawa County is doing something right, according to a countywide public opinion survey released today. Eighty percent of residents said that Ottawa County operations are heading in the right direction, up from 73% in 2014. In 2010, just 52% of residents shared this view of the county.

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June 13, 2016

Seven things to know about the August 2 election

7 - The voter registration deadline is approaching. July 5 is the last day to register if you wish to cast a vote on August 2.
6 - Unable to make it to the polls? You may be eligible for an absentee ballot.
5 - Wish to save time at the polls? Study your ballot ahead of time.

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June 9, 2016

Kelloggsville students win a grant and give back to Hager Park!

2016 marks the third year fifth grade students from Kelloggsville Public Schools have visited Ottawa County's Hager Park to learn about and remove invasive plants, pick up litter, have lunch, and enjoy the Age of Discovery playground.

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June 9, 2016

Free/reduced school lunches done for the summer, but kids can still get free nutritious meals!

The Meet Up and Eat Up summer food service program was created to provide anyone 18 years of age and younger free nutritious meals during long school vacations. The program is available at locations throughout Ottawa County; serving breakfast, lunch and/or snacks during the summer months. 

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June 9, 2016

Learn more about local Holland history in the newly renovated pump house

Have you had the chance to take a peek inside the historic pump house building on Ottawa Beach Road? You know the one, the brick building past the general store on the way to Holland State Park. Whether you've passed by and never been inside or saw it for the first time last year, join the Historic Ottawa Beach Society (HOBS) for an open house or a historical program this summer. 

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June 6, 2016

Employee's random act of kindness gets noticed

Ottawa County extends its congratulations to Greg Rappleye from Corporation Counsel, who has been recognized as Ottawa County’s Outstanding Customer Service Award recipient for the first quarter of 2016. "If time doesn’t fly, it certainly hustles along." said Greg who has been an county employee for 25 years. He began is tenure in 1991 in the Ottawa County Prosecutors Office, doing the County’s civil work under the direction of Prosecutor Ronald J. Frantz. Later, Rappleye's duties evolved into the Office of Corporation Counsel, which serves under the direction of the County Administrator.

Learn more about Greg Rappleve

June 3, 2016

Opioid Overdose Reversal Kits & Training

People overdosing on opioids is a growing problem in Ottawa County, as well as across the country.  Opioids are substances, or chemically resemble substances, originally derived from the opium poppy.  Opioids can include medications prescribed by a doctor to treat chronic or acute pain but also illegal drugs like heroin used for their euphoric effects.  When a person overdoses on opioids, their breathing shuts down - leading to death.  Overdose deaths are on the rise, so we need to work to address the problem.  There is a medication that can temporarily reverse the overdose effects and provide time to get the victim medical attention.  The medication is called Naloxone.  There is a nationwide effort to make Naloxone available to individuals who use opioids. 

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June 2, 2016Flower

VanRegenmorter legacy to be honored with Ottawa County garden

In memory of victims who have died and those who survive in Ottawa County.

Ottawa County is creating the William VanRegenmorter Memory Garden to honor the late senator's lifetime commitment to victims of crime. With the assistance of many crime victims and advocates, former State Senator William VanRegenmorter, an Ottawa County resident, wrote the Crime Victim’s Rights Act in 1985. Since that time, tremendous progress has been made, not only in Michigan, but nationwide, to secure and strengthen legal rights, protections and services for crime victims. You can help by purchasing a brick paver for the plaza. The garden will be a tribute to the life changing impact crime has on victims and their loved ones. 

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May 27, 2016Goats

The Prescribed Browsing Project is baaaack for its third and final year.

Ottawa County Parks launched its third and final year of the Prescribed Browsing Project, a unique initiative utilizing goats to combat invasive plants. This innovative, yet simple method reduces herbicide applications, is cost-effective, and allows access to locations where mowers or machinery could otherwise not reach. The project began in 2014 as a three year initiative and will conclude for review after this year.

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May 19, 2016Population Change Map

Ottawa County Population and Growth Rates  The 2015 population estimates for townships, cities, and villages were released by the U.S. Census Bureau today.

Some of the Ottawa County highlights are provided below:

  • All of the townships in Ottawa County continued to grow in population between 2014 and 2015, while 4 cities saw a slight decline in population
  • Allendale Township experienced the largest population growth rate between 2014 and 2015 (5.8% increase)
  • Since 2010, the local units that experienced the largest population growth rates were Jamestown Township (12.5% increase), Allendale Township (10.8% increase), and Crockery Township (9.7% increase)

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Recent Headlines

Our goal is to be receptive, responsive and transparent.  Members of the media seeking interviews or information are encouraged to contact the Communications Manager, Shannon Felgner.

A handful of County Offices respond to media inquiries directly including:
Ottawa County Department of Public Health - Kristina Wieghmink (616) 494-5597
Ottawa County Community Mental Health - Anna Bednarek (616) 494-5545
Ottawa County Parks & Recreation - Jessica VanGinhoven (616) 994-4716
Ottawa County Sheriff's Office - (616) 738-4000
If you are having trouble determining to whom you should direct your inquiry, the Communications Manager is a great place to start. 

Do you feel like you are the last to know about an Ottawa County Press Release? We are happy to add you to our media contact list. Email or call Shannon Felgner at (616) 738-4672.

Freedom of Information Act Requests

All requests made under the provisions of the Freedom of Information Act will be processed in accordance with the requirements of the act. Requests for public information should be made to the department which is responsible for the custody of the records.

FOIA Freedom of Information Act Policy


Shannon Felgner

  • Shannon Felgner,
    Communications Manager

Main Office

  • 12220 Fillmore Street
    Room 210
    West Olive, MI 49460
  • Phone: (616) 738-4672
    FAX: (616) 738-4888
  • Monday - Friday:
    8:00am - 5:00pm

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