CANNON TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — Kent County may buy Cannonsburg Recreation and Ski Area in Cannon Township.

The Kent County Board of Commissioners on Thursday approved a request from the Parks Department to submit a grant application to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to purchase the recreation area.

Purchasing the 272-acre piece of land is estimated to cost around $10 million, according to a Thursday resolution by the commission. The grant request would ask MNRTF to fund $7.5 million of the purchase.

The remaining $2.5 million would likely be funded by multiple local agencies and the county.

“Purchase of the Cannonsburg Recreation and Ski Area in Cannon Township is a rare opportunity to acquire over 272 acres of contiguous land with existing year-round outdoor recreation opportunities including trails, snow sports, and wildlife viewing,” the resolution says. “This community asset has been a staple in West Michigan since 1965 and the only operational downhill ski facility in Kent County and the region.”

If a deal goes through, the area would become a park with the management of the ski services contracted out.

Kent County administrator Al Vanderberg said the process would take time to complete.    

“There are different stages where the application would be reviewed. I know in September there’s an opportunity where the county could review and adjust the application and then there may be some indication in December of what they’re thinking but really, it would be next spring, March or April I think when we would hear,” Vanderberg said. ”There’s a whole process that has to happen after that with the appraisal, negotiation, and so it would really be about a two-year process.”

Commissioner Robert S. Womack says a purchase would preserve green space in Kent County.

“It’s very important to stop the urban sprawl. It’s also very important to preserve the historic nature of Cannonsburg Ski Resort, 272-acres, giant ski slope, tubing, biking. They have concerts there. The public has been used to having that there for years and it’s a main attraction here in West Michigan,” Womack said.

A spokesperson for Cannonsburg said the area has a lot of meaning to the community and any plans would mean keeping the ski area intact.