City to try again for park improvement grant
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Tuesday, 19 February 2008 15:55

Lisa Sutterfield, Grand Haven's assistant city manager, likes the city's chances this year in getting a $300,000 state grant for improvements at East Grand River Park.

The city's application last year to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to help fund the park project was rejected. City Council voted 4-0 Monday to resubmit a nearly identical application to the state by an April 1 deadline.

Sutterfield said there were many applications for the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant program last year, and she anticipates the state will place Grand Haven's request near the top because of it being a second attempt.The application will ask the DNR to pay 75 percent of the planned $400,000 improvement project at the 6.1-acre park alongside the Grand River at the east end of Washington Avenue. The city would fund the remaining $100,000.Sutterfield doesn't expect to hear back from the DNR about the request until late this year. If it is approved, she said the money would be available for spring 2009.
The improvements would include new barrier-free amenities like drinking fountains, benches, grills, picnic tables, playground, and accessible boardwalk to a fishing platform and wildlife viewing area. Other items include security enhancements and an irrigation system; and upgrades to the existing playground equipment, boardwalk, gazebo and parking lot.

Not part of this project, but planned for the future at East Grand River Park, are acquisition of adjacent land, new barrier-free restrooms and connection to an extended waterfront trail in the city.

The park's boat launch will be improved this summer under a separate grant.

Because many of the items in the proposed project will create barrier-free access to the park's amenities, Sutterfield asks that any organizations or individuals involved or affected by handicapped issues to contact her office (847-4888) to offer support for the state grant request.
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