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Grand Haven deciding how to proceed with mold found at Chinook Pier

A dozen businesses were operating out of the buildings before small amounts of mold were found inside
Posted at 4:26 PM, Jan 29, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-29 22:48:32-05

GRAND HAVEN, Mich.  — The fate of a dozen retail shops on Grand Haven's Chinook Pier are up in the air ahead of a city council meeting next week.

High water levels continue to cause headaches all up and down the lakeshore and now mold is on that list. City Manager Pat McGinnis tells FOX 17 that "background mold" was found throughout all of the suites in two of the three buildings on the pier.

“It wasn’t a traumatic public health exposure, it was just background mold that ought to be dealt with. So with vacant buildings there, we started looking at the expense involved,” McGinnis said Wednesday. The mold was initially discovered by a new tenant in the process of moving into a space back in the summertime.

The City of Grand Haven purchased the buildings on North Harbor Drive back in 2004 after leasing them for two decades. Since then, they have been acting as landlord for about a dozen retailers.

Regarding the timing, McGinnis said, “We’ve had those buildings there for 40 years, never had this before. Now because the river water comes up, so does the groundwater under these buildings and it came up, got in the crawl space and created the mold."

The city has spent the last few months looking at options for moving forward.

"The cost to take care of it is probably more than what the buildings are worth. So city council will have an interesting 2020," McGinnis said Wednesday.

McGinnis said the most likely outcome will be demolishing at least two of the three buildings on site. That plan would still need to be discussed and approved at a public meeting.

The Grand Haven City Council has a meeting Monday where they will discuss potential plans moving ahead.