Sand mining plant could become new Muskegon Co. park

Muskegon County

NORTON SHORES, Mich. (WOOD) — Muskegon County could be getting a new park as officials look into buying the Nugent Sand Company plant. 

The sand mining company has been on Lincoln Street near Lincoln Park Dr. in Norton Shores since 1912. The company mined sand for more than 100 years then stopped operations at their Norton Shores location in 2017. The sand at the location would be sold to other companies for them to make things like fiber glass, roofing shingles and cement mortar.

While there are still offices operating from the Norton Shores location, the plant has been up for sale for about a year. A company representative tells News 8 this is an effort to consolidate all operations to their second plant just north of Muskegon, which was built in 2004.

“It’s a great piece of property,” said Caitlin Hedegus with Muskegon County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The space boasts two inland lakes and beachfront on Lake Michigan. Muskegon County is now looking at transforming the space into a park. 

Nugent Sand Company’s Norton Shores plant. (Feb. 6, 2020)

“It would be more than likely quiet lakes. We’re looking at paddle sports. We’re looking at fishing, Lake Michigan access, Lake Michigan beach (access) as well as lots of hiking and lots of trails,” Hedegus said.

The property sits on 377 acres, which would make for the county’s largest park, according to information on the county’s website.

Hedegus says at this point, they have not discussed a price point for the project, but they hope to use a public trust grant through the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to pay for it.

“It’s really an unparalleled piece of land, so we’re really looking forward to see what this becomes,” Hedgus added.

The county is still working on site plans but says the project could take up to two years. The pace by which they complete the project, will be dependent on funding.

The county plans to host a public hearing on the project Tuesday. They’re inviting the public to voice their opinions during the meeting. After that, the Muskegon County Board of Commissioners will discuss the proposal at their Feb. 13 Community Development/Strategic planning meeting. 

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