By Rosemary K. Otzman
The proposed Horizon Park lakeside upgrade project now is expected to cost about $172,400.
At its Feb. 20 meeting the Belleville Downtown Development Authority unanimously voted to offer matching cash funds of 30%, to help get the state grant.
The lakeside project wouldn’t be ready for construction until 2014 and DDA Coordinator Carol Thompson said they could put the matching amount of $51,720 in the 2013-14 budget or take it from the fund balance at that time.
After the DDA made this commitment to matching funds, the project now will go back to the city council which has to be the entity filing the grant application with the state.
The grant being sought comes through the Natural Resources Trust Fund.
The proposed improvements call for an ADA-accessible, ramped floating pier attached to a fixed boardwalk, 10 new day slips for boaters/shopper docks, an ADA-accessible canoe/kayak launch, and amenities such as a canoe/kayak slide, an additional ADA parking space, signage, landscaping, benches and trash receptacles, and a concrete pad for an ADA-accessible picnic table.
Spicer Engineering was paid $3,500 to design the grant project.
Chris Matson of Spicer said the project has been upgraded to have a fixed platform attached to the floating platform, and now it is all ADA-accessible. The proposed personal watercraft slips have been removed, he said.
He said they hope to have project collaborations with the Huron River Watershed Council’s Water Trail and River Up! programs and with Van Buren Township.
Some $6,900 worth of upgrades to the structure of the present kiosk also includes a Huron River canoeing and kayaking map.
Thompson said if Belleville doesn’t get the full grant from the state, the DDA will reduce the amenities proposed. She said those seeking grants get higher up on the funding list by offering more in cash-matching. The minimum for the grant is 25% cash match and Spicer suggested going with 30%.
In other business at the Feb. 20 meeting, the DDA:
• Approved paying $100 each for City Manager Diana Kollmeyer and DDA Coordinator Thompson to attend the April 9-10 Michigan Municipal League Capital Conference in Lansing. Since the city is a member of the Liability Pool & Workers Comp Fund, the two are registering through the city membership and getting the reduced rate being paid by the DDA;
• Heard an update on the downtown zoning ordinance being updated by the planning commission. Thompson said she attended the Feb. 14 meeting and the work is continued to the next meeting. Also, the new, proposed sign ordinance is expected to be presented at the March 14 commission meeting;
• Approved moving from Charter One, where interest was low, to Multi-Bank Securities for re-investment of a CD which matured at the end of January. Thompson said Multi-Bank Securities has served the DDA well in the past and when investments mature they conduct the research and provide best options for reinvestment;
• Discussed the brick crosswalk at Main and Denton that continues to deteriorate after being redone last year. DDA Chairman John Hoops said maybe they should just replace it with poured concrete to eliminate the push effect on the bricks of the heavy traffic and the water ponds;
• Heard DDA member Tom Fielder report he went to Fishermen’s Village in Punta Gorda, FL to look at all the murals there that had been seen by City Manager Kollmeyer. Fielder said the murals were beautiful and Belleville should research the possibility of doing that here. City Councilwoman Kim Tindall said from the audience that at the last Sign Committee meeting the planning commissioners looked into murals and more information will be coming. Fielder said that the community enjoyed the art that was displayed by the Detroit Institute of Arts and, maybe, the city could feature some local artists;
• Noted the $9,172.24 check to Howell Airport Lighting on the accounts payable list is the last payment for the LED streetlight project;
• Heard DDA member Jim Higgerson say a local man asked for trash receptacles at the south end of town so people don’t throw trash in the street when the ice cream shop opens; and
• Was told the flag company was called on Feb. 18 concerning the tattered flag at Five Points. The company comes out regularly to change the flag, but this time it has to come sooner than planned because of all the unusually strong winds that have torn the flag, Hoops said.
By Rosemary K. Otzman