Administrator's Digest - September 13

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Greetings from the Administrator

As with every year, the summer went by way too fast. However, that means it’s fall and, more importantly, it’s football season. As a Division 1 college football official, fall is my favorite time of the year. Each weekend, I travel to a different stadium and work with eight other officials to officiate the game. Just like in being a County Administrator, I have to make calls on the field and inevitably cannot make everyone happy. Similar to my day job, my goal is for our crew to manage a smooth game and make sure it’s played in a fair manner.

John Shay | County Administrator

If you missed it, you can read more about John in the June 10th edition of The Lakeshore West Michigan.

Public Health Now Offering a Food Composting Program

Did you know that Ottawa County has a new food composting program? Composting is the process of recycling organic matter, such as leaves and food scraps. This mixture of organic matter will break down to create a naturally fertile soil when given the right combination of time, moisture and air.

The Ottawa County composting program gives residents and small businesses the opportunity to turn their food waste into soil for local farms. Food waste includes everyday items from your kitchen including eggshells, coffee grounds, compostable containers, grains, fruits, vegetables, meats and more. Yard waste is not accepted.

Composting has many benefits, including:

  • Reducing food waste and usable materials sent to landfills
  • Reducing greenhouse gases
  • Increasing water retention in soil
  • Feeding plants naturally
  • Helping to create stronger plants and soil
  • Decreasing soil erosion

The composting program is available at all Ottawa County Environmental Sustainability Centers in Holland, Grand Haven, Georgetown and Coopersville. To sign up for the food composting program, complete the application and return it to any of the Environmental Sustainability Centers, where you will pick up and pay for your composting bag. You may fill the bag with food waste and return it once it is full. Cost for the program is $5 for one bag or $12 for three bags. You can also participate in the unlimited monthly bin exchange program for $40. For more information, call 616 393-5645 or visit

Composting with veggies

Tickets Now Available: Farms are the Tapas 2022

Help protect Ottawa County farms - join us for Farms are the Tapas in September!

  • Thursday, September 29
  • 6 PM – 8 PM
  • The Red Shed, 5301 Barry Street, Hudsonville
  • Buy tickets

Enjoy locally sourced signature tapas dishes created by chefs from area restaurants competing to win the coveted Harvest Knife Award! Competing restaurants include: The Farmhouse, The Beard & The Gal, Field & Fire Bakery & Cafe, Holy Smokers Award Winning BBQ, StrEats Taco Kitchen, Sandy Point Beach House.

Guests will have an opportunity to taste tapas; vote on their favorite dish; and virtually bid on silent auction items – all while supporting farmland preservation!

With the help from attendees and our sponsors in 2021, over $17,900 was raised to help stem the loss of precious farmland in Ottawa County. These funds are essential for the program to carry out its purpose – protecting the land upon which we grow our food.

Many thanks to the event sponsors.

Register Now: Ottawa County Diversity Forum

Ottawa County has partnered with Gentex Corporation, Lighthouse Immigrant Advocates, City of Grand Haven and City of Holland to bring you the 2022 Diversity Forum on October 27 from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. The theme for this year's event is DE&I: Cornerstone of Democracy.

Diversity Forum 2022

From Ottawa County Parks

From the Department of Public Health

Ottawa County Unemployment Rates

The preliminary unemployment rates for July 2022 were recently released by the Michigan Department of Technology, Management, and Budget. Ottawa County’s unemployment rate for July measured 3.4%, down slightly from the June 2022 rate of 3.6%. This unemployment rate is currently the seventh lowest in Michigan, with rates ranging from 2.2% in Livingston County to 9.1% in Oscoda County.

Over the course of the year, jobless rates have fallen for all eighty-three Michigan counties. And from June to July, sixty of those eighty-three counties saw their unemployment rates decrease.

Unemployment July 2022

Unemployment data for the entire state is available from the Bureau of Labor Market Information and Strategic Initiatives. The press release from the State of Michigan is also online.

More unemployment graphs, along with other data and reports, are available from the Ottawa County Department of Strategic Impact’s County Statistics page.

Save the Date - November 7 - Water Quality Forum

Water Quality Forum 2022