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Muskegon County moving forward with Nugent Sand property acquisition

Daniel Boothe

Muskegon County officials are hoping to convert a sand mine property adjacent to Lake Michigan into a brand-new public park for residents, as commissioners voted in favor of moving forward with the idea this week.

The property is owned by Nugent Sand, and has been for over a century. What comes with that property is two untouched inland lakes surrounded by acres of sand dunes, natural wildlife, and a feeling that one is seeing Michigan in its “purest form” that is, there are no developments or housing on either lake.

While rumors of purchasing the property have been swirling for years, an employee at Nugent Sand told WGVU that the company is ready to sell, and Muskegon County is ready to buy.

On Tuesday, Muskegon County commissioners voted 8-1 in favor of moving forward with the project, and apply for a state grant to help pay for 60 percent of the cost, which is estimated at roughly $15 million. If purchased the County would convert the property into recreational space, for swimming, hiking and kayaking, while preserving the natural habitat of the property, while the lakes would be quiet—meaning, no motorized boats.

The property, visible off of West Sherman Boulevard in Norton Shores, includes nearly 200 feet of Lake Michigan frontage, and sunset views atop of the dunes.

The one vote against the idea came from Commissioner Zach Lahring, who argued that the land should be developed privately.

The board will meet again on March 10th, the application deadline for the state grant is April 1st.