By Don Rush
Last week the Addison Township Board adopted a new Parks Master Plan and resolved to apply for a parks grant from the state. They have also asked members of the community to send in letters of support for the grant, with the deadline being Dec. 2.
The grant will go to improve 1.05 acres of Labodie Park as a “multi-generational” park.
According to Clerk Pauline Bennett, Addison was first alerted to the Michigan Spark Grant from a bulletin from the Michigan Township Association. The grant is for up to $960,000. The township is ready to use $128,000 of its American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funds for the project.
“Since we (the township) had already budgeted ARPA funds to improve the parks at the township and the dock at Lake George, when the news came out about Sparks Grant it seemed very logical and a natural fit to pursue it,” Bennett said. “If Addison Township is awarded the grant we will be able to complete the park area all at once, versus breaking it out into small pieces over many years.”
She said should the township be awarded the grant some improvements will include a six-foot wide walking path, pickleball courts, bocci ball and horseshoe pits. Currently, the park has a sledding hill and baseball diamond.
“Completing this park has been a dream,” Bennett said. “To have an area in the township where people of all ages can be active and congregate would be wonderful. This park can be a place for families or senior citizens. It will be a great place for events. It will also have an enlarged playground area with improved equipment. It will have something for everyone. Addison Township is a great place to live. We love our large parcels and living in the country, however, it’s important to have an area where we can schedule activities or offer a fun place for our residents to meet. I thank the Board for its wisdom in pursuing the opportunity of this grant to better our community and the Park Committee for their many years of perseverance and dedication to our parks.”
In its application for the grant, the township acknowledged there its lack of sidewalks and activity areas, noting the closest parks for activities are in the neighboring communities of Oxford, Orion or Rochester.
Should the township be awarded the grant, they will have an engineering firm create a detailed site plan for approval.
Residents can send in their letters by email to Pbennett@addisontwp.org.