The design the public chose for the Riverfront redevelopment project is pictured. This final phase will include a splash pad (circled in pink), a community fireplace and an expanded and improved plaza and boardwalk area.

Riverfront splash pad planned to open July 3

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

“We’re kicking off the last stage of the riverfront for the first meeting of 2018,” said Allegan City Mayor Stacie Stotmeister after city council members unanimously authorized the hiring of Abonmarche for $75,000 to design, bid and oversee the construction of the Riverfront Park expansion in 2018.

This final phase of projects will include a splash pad, a community fireplace and an expanded and improved plaza and boardwalk area.

The city has $511,000 to complete the plans.

Although the city developed a budget of $523,600, to finalize the design preferred by the public, a grant the city applied for to help with the cost was not received. However, the city received an additional $161,000 from the State of Michigan Local Community Stabilization Fund and budgeted $350,000 for a total revenue budget of $511,000.

Abonmarche and staff are confident they can deliver a well-designed Riverfront Park Expansion for that amount.

City manager Joel Dye said $20,000 of the $523,600 riverfront budget was the water main extension, which was already completed last summer in parking lot renovations.

The first three phases of the riverfront redevelopment initiative included adding a performance stage and the first portion of a pedestrian plaza area, a kayak/canoe launch with park improvements and the development of a zip line over the Kalamazoo River.

The fourth phase includes a defined pedestrian walkway along the backs of the buildings adjacent to the riverfront plaza; a large gas fireplace and seating area to serve as a community gathering place; development of a splash pad with surface jets and LED lights; creation of a 10-space parking area; expansion of the plaza’s pedestrian area to include new landscape and seating areas; and replacement of boardwalk boards if the budget is available.

“The goal is to make it more park-like and less parking lot-like,” Dye said.

Dye said Abonmarche will be expected to send out bids for the project in the next 45 days.

“Construction will begin when the snow melts, take about 90 days and be ready for the July 3 Jubilee,” he said.

Virginia Ransbottom can be contacted at or at (269) 673-5534.


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