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Traverse City Park Projects

Parks Projects in Play

March 17, 2014
Parks Projects in Play

Traverse City commissioners will vote tonight on resolutions of support for two grant applications to fund upcoming parks projects in or around downtown TC. Here's a look at these and other parks-related developments currently on deck in the city.

Clancy Park
The first of two grant proposals on the agenda is a request for a $35,000 Michigan Recreation Passport grant from the state for improvements to Clancy Park, located on West Orchard Drive and Sheridan Street on the base of Old Mission Peninsula. The grant would pay for new park walkways, bike racks, a new play structure, a natural playscape and other site improvements.

If approved, the city would provide $30,600 in matching funds for the project, with an additional $4,400 coming in donations and in-kind labor from Orchard Heights Neighborhood and the Friendly Garden Club. The redevelopment – with a total price tag of $70,000 – would be slated for the 2015 construction season, according to Traverse City Manager Jered Ottenwess.

Boardman River Boardwalk
Commissioners will also consider a $257,500 grant application to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to pay for improvements to the Boardman River boardwalk stretching from the Eighth Street bridge to the Boardman Lake Trail in downtown TC.

The city would allocate $81,800 in matching funds for the venture, with an additional $175,700 coming from the Grand Traverse County Brownfield Authority for a total cost of $515,000. Improvements – which would be scheduled for 2015 – would include the creation of 840 linear feet of elevated boardwalk, low-level lighting, fishing and resting platforms, and landscaping. City officials hope the extended boardwalk “will strengthen public access to Boardman Lake,” according to proposal documents.

Brown Bridge Ballot Proposal
A possible ballot proposal to utilize funds from the community's Brown Bridge Trust Fund (BBTF) for improvements to city parks will likely be delayed to at least 2015, according to Ottenwess. “There's not enough time left this year to have a thorough effort and go through the ballot process,” he says. “November 2015 should give us plenty of time to make sure we get it right.”

Ottenwess adds the city's 5-Year Parks and Recreation Master Plan is due to be updated and approved next year, noting that it “makes sense to have a ballot question then that coincides with” that discussion. The city is hoping to get permission from voters to free $2 million from the BBTF, which currently has a $13 million principal, to renovate local parks.

Hickory Hills Study
The city, Garfield Township, Grand Traverse Ski Club and Preserve Hickory are collaborating to create a master plan for the long-term operation and possible improvement of Hickory Hills Ski Area. On February 20, close to 100 people came out for an open house and public input session about the 125-acre park, with suggestions ranging from opening a community center and expanding the ski hills to establishing ice rinks, fire pits and rock climbing amenities.

In conjunction with national consulting firm SE Group, local officials are compiling the input and results of a community survey to submit a plan to city commissioners this spring. A second community survey is now open to residents; to take the survey, click here.

Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 12:04 PM by Jon Becker

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