Chelsea Still Mulling Pierce Park Improvements, Fills Parks and Rec Appointments





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By Angelo Parlove, agparlove@msn.com

The City of Chelsea is still considering its plans to make about $250,000 in improvements to Pierce Park.



City Manager John Hanifan updated city council on the improvements, calling it a conceptual plan at this point, during their regular meeting April 2. The plan tentatively includes a new pathway to the various elements within the park, additional play elements, a new gazebo with a 24-foot canopy and screening for the restrooms and dumpster.

The city has been working on the conceptual plan for almost two years.

“There is a significant investment we will be making and a lot great elements we will be adding to make the park more accessible and more usable,” Hanifan said.

The next step in the process to implementing the improvements is to host a public input session, ideally at the park, later this April or May. At the session, the city will take public feedback on the plans.

“This is meant to be an inclusive process,” Hanifan said. “The great news is it has generated a lot of discussion which is always the hope when you’re putting together a new plan that will ultimately have public input.”

After the public feedback is collected, the matter will then be brought back to council for approval.

“It’s really a gem of a park with beautiful mature trees and green space,” Mayor Melissa Johnson said.

With the early cost estimates for the improvements possibly reaching $250,000, the city will likely seek grants and crowdfunding to assist with the expenses. “There’s not millions of dollars available for parks, but there’s literally hundreds of small sources for dollars,” Hanifan said.

In other park news, Chelsea resident Erin Brayton, who often spends time in the Chelsea parks with her two young children, boys ages eight and five. Was appointed to the Chelsea Parks and Recreation Committee. “We spend a lot of time at the parks,” she said. “I’ve been looking for a way to get more involved with the city.”

Brayton was appointed to the commission by city council April 2.

“I’m already experiencing the parks and will now have that inside track on how they are getting used regularly,” she said.

The appointment fills the final vacant position on the commission, with the term running for one year until March 2019. The city received only one application for the open position.

City council established the Parks and Recreation Commission on December 18, 2017, with the Brayton appointment rounding out the seven-member commission. Mayor Melissa Johnson serves as the city council representative to the commission.

Brayton is a Michigan State University graduate and owner of Edesigns Activewear, an apparel and sewing business. She has been a Chelsea resident since 2009.

 

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Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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