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By Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

The Chelsea Parks and Recreation Commission discussed pricing of the Pierce Park Improvement Plan during their Feb. 5 meeting.

During the discussion City Manager John Hanifan gave a quote/bid update for costs for the park which was $210,000. The new pathways and play structure were the costliest items at $50,000 each.

While it is an estimate, Hanifan noted the final numbers would be close, with plans to lock in the final price before March and the beginning of the Patronicity campaign.

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Patronicity helps bring together local citizens and sponsors to make things happen in their community and is something the city is trying after looking into what it has brought other communities.

During the improvement talks, Hanifan used an example of something the City of Lansing has done with a Patronicity campaign, adding a community owned, free to play, mini turf soccer field for all to enjoy. There were funding goals and dollar amounts that people could commit to, with larger donations and sponsorship tiers available for more expensive items.

The park improvements will be funded by grants, funds from the parks budget, and the Patronicity campaign.

In addition to funding, the commission also talked about the potential for sponsorships of certain amenities in the park, using an example of someone providing the funds for one of the seats they want to put in the park.

Now, the commission must build a campaign, planning to add videos and testimonials to help raise money. Hanifan stressed that they were trying to sell the park with the message being “Pierce Park is good, and the City wants to make it even better.”

Hanifan and Mayor Melissa Johnson both touched on the feedback they had received from the public throughout the planning stages and the commission agreed that they needed to continue to try and get those folks involved in the Patronicity campaign as well.

Hanifan noted that in his time working for the city, parks improvement meetings were by far the most attended open sessions when it came to improvements around the city.

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