HARRY WEST: Kudos to the city team

To the editor:

The city of Big Rapids is blessed with the Muskegon River running through the center of the town, with multiple city parks that make enjoying the river available to all.

In May of 2006, a tragedy occurred in one of said parks, where two lovely little sisters fell into the powerful current and were taken too early. A wonderful project was formed from this terrible event, in the form of the River Safety effort, which consisted of a series of call boxes, and throw ring stations spaced in Hemlock Park, and along the River walk. This came about due to the efforts of many individuals and municipal departments. Well done, all!

Fast forward to summer 2015, and while I was walking along the river walk section of Hemlock Park, I stopped and looked at the first throw ring station, and quite honestly, was appalled at the condition of the station. The cover was covered with mold and dirt, the housing was covered with accumulated crud,to the point that you could not read the instructions, or even see the life ring inside. I visited the other two stations and found them to be in similar condition.

I contacted the city manager Mr. Sober’s office, and left a message, I went to the city offices and talked to fellow in the parks maintenance and described the problem. He took the information and advised that he would contact the ones in charge. 

As of Nov. 3, I walked through the park, enjoying the fall and the river, and thought I would see if anything had been done with the stations. Much to my surprise, I found that ALL of the stations had been cleaned, and new covers placed!

Hemlock Park is a showplace for Big Rapids, and the call boxes and life ring throw stations enhance the safety and beauty of the park. I thank all who were involved with this cleaning and upgrades, and may I suggest a regular monthly maintenance schedule be initiated to inspect and test these stations, at least through the spring to late fall seasons.

River safety can never be taken lightly.

Harry D. West

Barryton

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