County Drains

June 16, 2014
Time Line of Stormwater Issues

April 28, 2014
Park West Drain Moves Forward

From Water Resources Commissioner, Joe Bush:

The approach to controlling stormwater flooding in the Park West Drainage District has undergone a major change in the past few years as a new Water Resources Commissioner has reassessed the project focus and cost. Design is underway, which will allow bidding this summer and beginning construction early this fall. The project has been delayed while the design concept was revised to provide a project with a water quality emphasis at lower cost to the property owners. A biofiltration system is being implemented throughout the drainage district to prevent transporting pollutants to Lake Macatawa. Biofiltration uses a combination of vegetation and permeable soils to remove sediment and other pollutants from stormwater.

The water quality conscious approach has also opened up opportunities for significant grant funds. He has applied for a grant through the State’s Green Reserve Program, which could forgive up to 50% of eligible construction cost. Final determination of available grant funds is expected this spring. The shift in project approach reduced the project cost by several million dollars. The grant funds would further reduce cost to the property owners in the Park West Drainage District.

Park West Drainage District Map (updated 6/11/2014)

For more information, or if you have questions, contact the Water Resources Commissioner’s Office at 616-994-4530.


October 11, 2012
For a project update on the Park West Drain click on Project Update

May, 2012
From Ottawa County:  Understanding Roadside Drainage

April 30, 2012
For Park West Drain spring 2012 updates click on Project Updates

August 4, 2011 Latest Park West Drain Update/Info from the Ottawa County Drain Commissioners Office.
Click on Park West Drain Project Information Meeting


June 23, 2010 Park West Drain Update:

The details for the Park West Drain are still not finalized.  The Ottawa County Drain Commissioner reports that his office is continuing to work diligently toward securing easements that will then allow the final engineering to be completed and the construction to begin.  Until the final pre-construction activities are completed, it is impossible to determine the finite boundaries of the drainage district.  It also remains impossible to determine the total cost of the project and what might be the cost to individual property owners.

Therefore, should anyone be specifying what assessments may be, kindly remind them that there are no cost numbers yet available and suggest they revisit their sources to obtain factual information.  The facts remain the same: the final route is not yet determined, therefore no project costs can be determined and therefore no individual costs or assessments can be determined.  The project remains under the jurisdiction of the Ottawa County Drain Commissioner, and to paraphrase an old television commercial, “ there are no numbers until he provides the numbers!”

We are able to report, however, that the Drain Commissioner remains committed to reviewing all aspects of this project with the intent of developing the most cost effective solution to the high groundwater problems.



May 26, 2010:  At this time the Park West Drain project remains under the jurisdiction of the Ottawa County Drain Commissioner.  We have been informed by the Commissioner that his office is making every effort to secure the required right of way and easements for the project.  Once easements are secured, the final routing can be determined and final engineering completed.  Construction during this construction season is still anticipated.

Please monitor this site or contact the Drain Commission office, at 616-994-4530 for additional details.


May 3, 2010

Update on Park West Drain activities:

The Ottawa County Drain Commissioner, Paul Geerlings, has reported that engineering and planning work has continued on the Drain.  He also reported that Land Matters, LLC, has been retained by the Drain Office to negotiate easement acquisitions from the property owners along the preferred route of the drain, and he hopes to have this significantly completed by mid June.

Park Township will continue to update this site as additional information is available.

Park West Drain Update: March 22, 2010

The large drain project, known as the Park West Drain, has been under the jurisdiction of the Ottawa County Drain Commissioner since August of 2009.  While Park Township studied the causes and solutions to high water, and recommended to the Drain Commissioner to construct a relief drain in the western portion of the township, the routing, financing and district boundary decisions are the responsibility of the Drain Commissioner.  As per state law, Drain Commissioners are elected officials that operate independently from county, township or even state supervision.  Once a drain has been “established” by the Commissioner, the Commissioner has complete control of the entire project.  (For additional information please reference the attached graphic entitled “Drainage District and Drain Construction Procedures.”)

We at Park Township have made available to our residents the same information we have received from the Drain Commissioner.

The information we delivered to the Drain Commissioner back in August, 2009, suggested an enclosed drain that ran from the northern portion of the township south to Lake Macatawa, generally along 168th Avenue.  That proposed route could change significantly as it was based on preliminary engineering studies.  The Drain Commissioner is now having more detailed engineering studies completed, and he has the sole discretion to determine if a different design or route would better serve the public.

At this point, the Drain Commissioner has reported to us that the drain route and the final engineering have not yet been completed, although he is narrowing the alternatives.  He has indicated that it appears that the final route will come very close to the route Park Township suggested back last August.

The Drain Commissioner has also told Park Township that he will provide copies of maps and other materials once the final engineering and route are complete.  We will make that information available to you once it is received.  Once the route is finalized, there will also be a final determination by the Drain Commissioner of the drainage district boundary.  Those property owners within the final district will also be notified by the Drain Commissioner, via US MAIL, as to that fact and will also receive information as to any financial impacts.

For additional information, please keep watching this site for updated information, visit the website of the Ottawa County Drain Commissioner at, or call his office at 616-994-4530

Attachment:  Drainage District and Drain Construction Procedures-graphic

Resident Guide to the Park West Drain  

Park West Drain Map 

Citizen Guide to the Drain Code  

Environment & Energy Committee