by Ariel Rogers
Grand Ledge Gazette staff writer
GRAND LEDGE – The Grand Ledge City Council held a public hearing on Monday about the city’s application for a Natural Resources Trust Fund Grant. The city is submitting the grant application for more boat launch improvements and for the purchase of lot 49.
Lot 49 includes the home and land belonging to Sara and Ralph Rounds. The house has been in Ralph’s family since the 1950s when his father and Louis Dible built the home.
Council member Thomas Sowle said in 2013, the city was awarded a grant of $150,000 along with a $50,000 match from the city for redesigning the boat launch. City administrator John Bayless said it is now necessary for additional parking to accomodate the boat launch.
Home in question
This isn’t the first time the future of the Rounds’ home has been in question. In 1978, the Michigan Department of Transportation tried to purchase their home as a project to connect both sides of M100. The Department of Natural Resources denied the purchase because the property is home to a wetland and is a nesting area for wildlife.
“We see any type of wildlife here,” Sara said. “I’ve seen foxes and an eagle. There’s also a small natural waterfall.”
The city previously tried to purchase the home from the Rounds, but did not offer enough money to cover the cost of the home.
“We are just looking for a substantial offer for the replacement cost of the home,” Sara said.
The Rounds’ house is prime waterfront property and is in the Downtown Development Authority. They eventually want to relocate to another waterfront home.
“The house is going one way or another,” Ralph said. “Either the city buys it, or we put it on the market.”
Bayless is working on boundary maps and other engineering paperwork along with other finishing touches on the application. The application will be submitted electronically by the April 1 deadline.
For more information, contact Ariel Rogers at firstname.lastname@example.org