Ottawa County Administrator's Digest

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Alan G. Vanderberg, County Administrator
July 21, 2016

Green Light for M23.1k Run & Relay 2016


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.

Registration opened to runners at 8 AM on July 15 via Through July 31, the price to register is $40. Prices go up progressively until the end of September. The race will be capped at 500 total runners; 200 more than the sell-out crowd last year. Participants will receive quarter-zip shirts, finisher medals, age-group awards, and a post-race party. More information and FAQs are also at Those who are not runners are invited to spectate. Volunteer opportunities are also available. Those interested in helping can email

The event took place for the first time in 2015 before the highway was open and was billed as a one-time event. However, the participants and organizers were thrilled with the event. When Ottawa County approached MDOT officials, the repeat race was well received.  "The race in 2015 was just too successful. We simply had to do this again," said Shannon Felgner, Communications Manager for Ottawa County. "Plus there was one thing missing: the lines. The 2016 runners will have the thrill of treading on those forbidden yellow lines."

Proceeds from the run will go toward Ottawa County’s non-motorized pathway system, specifically, the Grand River Greenway Trail, North Bank Trail and Spoonville Trail. An extensive system of paved trails benefits residents and visitors alike. Paved trails through Ottawa County provide: opportunities for fitness and family recreation; environmental benefits; transportation corridors; and economic benefits to the community. The 2015 event raised $9,000.

Thank you to the generous sponsors who have provided dollars, services or goods, keeping the run affordable: 

Michigan's Credit Unions 
Ottawa County
Chemical Bank
Spring Lake Fitness & Aquatic Center
Michigan Department of Transportation | Ottawa County Sheriff's Office | EcoTrek Fitness | Delta Dental | Priority Health | Merle Boes | ImageSoft | Presidio | Gordons Water Systems | M & S Storage |

Sheriff Update

"Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" Class"Civilian Response to Active Shooter Events" Class

When it comes to many emergencies, we were taught at a young age how to respond. Fire--Stop, drop and roll. Tornado--Seek shelter in a basement. But what should you do in the case of an active shooter? Like any emergency, doing the right things can save your life. The Ottawa County Sheriff's Spring Lake-Ferrysburg Office is offering "Citizen Response to Active Shooter Events" training on July 26 in Spring Lake. Hosted by Spring Lake Rotary Club, the training is being held at the Spring Lake Country Club located at 17496 N Fruitport Road in Spring Lake from 6-9PM. 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.

Active shooter events are unpredictable and could happen in any place at any time. Workplaces. Houses of Worship. Retail Centers. This thought provoking and engaging class provides strategies, guidance, and a proven plan for surviving an active shooter event. Register today.

active shooter

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


Restoring Hope Through a Working Community

lak club

Although nearly one-in-five families will be affected by serious mental illness this year, misunderstanding and stigma still abound. Eighty-five to ninety-five percent of adults with serious mental illness are chronically unemployed, and traditional treatment continues to focus on maintenance instead of recovery.

The Lakeshore Clubhouse is a Clubhouse International accredited program with the singular mission of assisting people in their recovery from mental illness and reintegration into the community.

Join us on September 17 for our second annual Running for Recovery 5K and help make a difference in the lives of Ottawa County residents living with mental illness!

YOU are a part of the solution!!



Step it Up! Walking Challenge sees excellent results

Sandy and Marie Butler walked 313 miles during this challenge! They committed to the “virtual” challenge to walk from St. Ignace to Connor Bayou over 8 weeks (288 miles). They were so excited when they met their goal that they made hats to celebrate! Sandy and Marie joined Weight Watchers during this time and have lost weight each week while participating in the challenge. They have explored new Ottawa County Parks are feeling great. We couldn’t ask for a better success story!

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. 

"We were thrilled by the overwhelming response from the community," said Department of Public Health representative Amy Sheele. "We especially appreciated the participation of Four Pointes in Grand Haven and the Commons of Evergreen in Holland. Their friendly competition was very motivating for their members!" Over 200 participants were members of one of the two senior centers.

To help participants reach their weekly goal, group walks were offered in various Ottawa County Parks. The walks were led by Parks naturalists and volunteers. "The walks were a huge success. Each week we heard from participants who were visiting parks they hadn't previously known existed," said Parks spokesperson, Jessica VanGinhoven. 

"It was great to be able to partner with the parks department. So often our goals overlap and this is a perfect example," said Sheele. "The partnership will continue this fall!"

The feedback was incredibly positive. In a post-program survey participants were asked to comment on their experience. 

"Great program! Fun activities, enthusiastic leaders, and helped me get moving and back outside and on the fitness track this spring!"

"This is the best governmental run social program in which I've ever participated. It was smart, goal-oriented, and easy to do. I would not make any changes to this program. It's a gem!"

"Loved the program! Please do this again. I loved being held accountable for my steps and logging them each week. The weekly hikes were a nice way to meet people."

Grant funding was secured to offer a Step it Up! Fall Colors program in collaboration with Allegan County. Those interested in receiving information about the fall program can sign up for "Parks - Walking Groups at

The 20th Circuit Court, Family Division, Juvenile Court Announces the First High School Graduates from the Juvenile Justice Institute


The 20th Circuit Court, Family Division, Juvenile Court is proud to announce the high school graduation of two, fine young men from the Juvenile Justice Institute (JJI) on  June 8, 2016 at the Haworth Center in Holland. In partnership with the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) and with support of Holland Public School Superintendent, Dr. Brian Davis, and Hudsonville Public School Superintendent, Dr. Nicholas Ceglarek, Mr. Johnny Nguyen (Holland Public Schools) and Mr. Karas Bayko (Hudsonville Public Schools) obtained their high school diplomas as the result of successfully completing their education at the Juvenile Justice Institute. A reception for family, friends and dignitaries was held following the graduation ceremony. Both students have plans to attend college in the fall of 2016, one at Muskegon Community College and the other at Grand Rapids Community College.

Through fiscal support from Ottawa County, the Juvenile Court provides a myriad of community based services to meet the needs of court involved youth and families. In 2003, a countywide task force led by the Court examined the issues of student suspension and expulsion, and identified an increase in youth who were struggling to obtain an education. At risk youth need options in order to keep them engaged in their education and prevent them from dropping out of school.  In response, the Juvenile Court contracted with the OAISD to provide an educational program for up to twenty-five court ordered youth.

Although the intent is to reintegrate students into their local school following a successful period at the JJI, through additional analysis, the Court, OAISD and local school administrators realized how difficult a smooth transition back to their local school was for some of these students.  In response to identifying the value of retaining the students at JJI, the OAISD facilitated a unanimous agreement from the public school superintendents to allow the students to obtain their high school education attending the JJI, including a high school diploma from their local 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 JJI was a critical step in the students’ success.

The Juvenile Court congratulates Johnny and Karas on their achievement. Obtaining their education will allow them to contribute their knowledge, skills and abilities to the community, making it a better place for all to live. 

The Court also extends sincere appreciation to the OAISD administration and staff, the Holland and Hudsonville Public School Superintendents, the 20th Circuit and Probate Court’s judges, administrators and staff, JJI students, Ottawa County administration, the Ottawa County Sheriff’s Office, the Haworth Center, and all those who made the first JJI graduation a huge success.

For further information, please contact Sandi Metcalf, Juvenile Court Director, at


OCDPH main header

Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey Sub-group Reports

Now available online at

The sub-group reports are an addendum to the 2015 Ottawa County Youth Assessment Survey (YAS) featuring the responses of youth in grades 810 and 12 alone; males or females alone; and WhiteHispanic or Other Ethnicity alone. Since the YAS has been administered every odd year since 2005, there are now six survey years of data to more closely examine the current status and historical trends in both risky and beneficial behavior among youth in Ottawa County.

2015 YAS Full Report 

  • Grades 8, 10 and 12 Sub-group Report Highlights:
  • 8th and 10th graders are bullied more often than 12th graders.
  • As the grade level goes up, so does the prevalence of drug use.
  • 8th graders have the highest proportion of students exercising to lose weight.
  • 8th graders also tend to have the most positive view of school.
  • 8th and 12th graders both have negative trends in regards to depression and suicidal behaviors.
  • Perceptions of marijuana use are trending negatively for all grade levels.
  • Perceptions of other drug use are trending negatively for 12th graders.
  • 12th graders tend to have their nutritional behaviors trending negatively.

Read More: Grade 8 - Grade 10 - Grade 12  

Gender Sub-group Report Highlights:

  • Among males who reported being in a relationship in the past year, all five questions are trending in the negative direction (as recipients of unhealthy behaviors in a relationship). 
  • Females have a significantly higher proportion of depression and suicide behaviors when compared to males, and all of these behaviors are trending in the negative direction.
  • Perceptions about marijuana and most other drug use is trending in the negative direction for females.
  • Females are trending negatively in their use of heroin and hallucinogens, while males are trending positively.
  • Females are trending down in healthy weight and up in obesity, in contrast males are trending up in healthy weight and down in obesity.
  • Higher proportions of males have bad nutrition when compared to females.
  • Higher proportions of females report being bullied when compared to males.

Read More: Male Female

Ethnicity Sub-group Report Highlights:

  • White students have lower depression and suicidal behavior proportions when compared to both Hispanic and Other students.
  • Hispanic students are trending negatively in 3 of the 4 depression and suicide behaviors.
  • White students tend to have the lowest proportion of drug and alcohol abuse.  In comparison, Hispanic students tend to have the highest proportion in these areas.
  • Hispanic and Other students tend to describe their neighborhood more negatively than White students.
  • Hispanic students have significantly less students in the healthy weight category and significantly more students in the overweight and obese categories, when compared to White and Other students.
  • White students tend to have a higher proportion involved in community activities when compared to Hispanic and Other students.

Read More: White - Hispanic Other

For more information about Ottawa County health data and reports, 

please visit or contact Marcia Mansaray,
OCDPH epidemiologist at 

2015 YAS cover

Ottawa County Quarterly Meeting with the Road Commission

Members and staff of the Road Commission and Ottawa County met for the quarterly meeting on Wednesday, June 29.  Attendees included:

Road Commission:  Brett Laughlin, Pat Staskiewicz, Mike Mikita, Tom Bird and Tom Elhart.

County:  Al Vanderberg, Keith Van Beek, Paul Sachs, Brady Selner (intern), Joe Baumann, Phil Kuyers, and Don Disselkoen.

Public Utilities Updates - Pat Staskiewicz

-Recently added some engineering assistance to help with some backlogged projects and work, had not filled Pat’s prior position after he moved into the director position following the retirement of Ken Zarzecki.

-Handed out (see attachment) and discussed a review of the organizational study and recommendations that we periodically review since the report in 2013.  Specifically;

-Pat expects the Wyoming Water Advisory Group will begin meeting soon

-will be meeting in July to discuss a process to update the countywide utilities master plan

-Pat briefly discussed projects in Jamestown, Coopersville/Allendale/Polkton and Holland.

Reports - Brett Laughlin

-A new contract was approved with the bargaining unit; new hires will now be in a defined contribution (DC) plan and not have retiree health benefits.

-Michigan Transportation Fund (MTF) report was distributed and discussed (see attachment).  Seeing growth in MTF funding from increased gas consumption, also additional PA 84 one-time money.  The new state tax money doesn’t come until 2017.

-Coopersville and Hudsonville sites will be building new salt storage facilities, came in below budget and funded with sale of existing land.

-Review of 2016 programs (see attachment): Primary Roads, Millage, Local Roads, Bridge, Drainage, Gravel Roads and Local Township Programs.

-Cost of asphalt has been lower than expected, but earthwork/utility work is higher than expected.

M-231 Next Phase Planning

-The county has hired a land use planner, that among other responsibilities will work with local units and MDOT on planning the corridor for the next phase of M-231.

-This group will plan to have MDOT at the meeting next time to get the more detailed plan and work going.

Other Items

-Some discussion on various construction projects ongoing, several in the Holland area managed by MDOT (US-31) and the City of Holland (Ninth Street).

-Al Had a discussion with leadership at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and will be setting up a meeting with several entities to help facilitate communication/relationships between GVSU, county, sheriff, water resources commissioner, Georgetown, Blendon, Tallmadge and Allendale.


The call volume numbers handled through Ottawa County Central Dispatch for June 2016 were:

Total Incidents –11,003 up 5.4% over June 2015

Fire Incidents –1,387 up 3.7% over June 2015 

Law Incidents –9,616 up 5.6% over June 2015 

911 Calls –10,255 up 5.7% over June 2015 and down 2.2% YTD over 2015 

911 Hang Up calls -1,056 up 1.6% over June 2015 and down 5.3% YTD over 2015

Wireless 911 calls –89.7% of 911 calls for June 2016 and 90.3% of Total 911 calls for 2015

911 calls answered in 10 seconds or less -85.6% for June 2016 and 90.3% YTD for 2016

(NENA recommended standard is 90% within 10 seconds)

Smart 911 Measures:

Profile Pops - 82 down 7.9% over June 2015 and down 22.9% YTD over 2015

Hang up calls resolved by texting -167 up 114.1% over June 2015 and up 27.4% YTD over 2015

Cost avoidance via texting -$3,841 up 114.1% over June 2015 and up 29.0% YTD over 2015 

Chat success rate -21% for June 2016 up 19% over June 2015 and down 4.5% YTD over 2016 


Click here for the most recent update, for older updates click here