GRAND HAVEN, Mich. (Grand Haven Tribune) - Most of the way to the project’s fundraising goal, the City of Grand Haven has approved the purchase of a new sound system for the Musical Fountain. It will replace the existing, 30-year-old equipment that city officials say is aging beyond repair and creating distorted sounds.

The Grand Haven City Council last week voted 5-0 to approve a bid from Pro Audio Inc. for $100,411 toward the new sound system. Sixteen subwoofers, four speakers, five amplifiers and other equipment have been proposed for the overhaul, which organizers and officials say will enhance the fountain’s shows.

It was the least expensive of the five bids the city received for installation and equipment.

Grand Haven Facilities Manager Dan Vivian said the Musical Fountain’s existing JBL system has been “pretty much flawless,” and the plan is to stick with JBL equipment. He said the gear is suited to battle the outdoor elements along the waterfront.

A fundraiser launched last year has garnered $120,000 in donations, according to Musical Fountain Chairman Andy Cawthon, in addition to in-kind services from the Board of Light & Power and the city’s Department of Public Works. Fundraising will continue to support maintenance of the system, he said, as efforts near the $150,000 goal.

Installation is expected to take place in early summer, Cawthon said, which will require 2-3 days without shows before the new system debuts to the public. A firm date will be set for the debut of the new system once shipping dates are confirmed from the vendor, Cawthon said.

The Pro Audio Inc. bid entails using the system’s existing mixer but replacing the interface cables. Other existing equipment will be removed.

About $30,000 of the funds raised will support modifications to the building that houses the sound system. Sponsorships and various fundraising events and even sales of a “Grand Haven-opoly” board game have helped close the gap on the fundraising goal.

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