River Raisin Park Progress

By Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

A River Raisin Park continues to get closer and closer to becoming a reality.

During the Manchester Village Council meeting last week, Neil Billetdeaux of Smith Group JJR, the landscape architects for the park, presented a proposed design for the park to council. Billetdeaux reported that they are preparing construction and bid documents for the improvements to the park.

May 20 at the 52ndAnnual Manchester River Raisin Canoe/Kayak Race, Billetdeaux had a poster depicting the concepts for a new park that showed the proposed layout of where the canoe and kayak pull out would be and details such as where the new boardwalk would be and how the sitting and entertainment areas will look.

Council liked the plan, similar to an earlier concept, but at the May 21 meeting asked about incorporating lighting into the plan as well. Billetdeaux noted that an electrical conduit was planned, but no lighting was included at that time.

Council made a request for more lighting options for the boardwalk, performance area, and stairs.

In addition to the park layout, Billetdeaux also presented a draft of the millpond dredging contract. Council passed a motion for Wallace to execute the contract in the amount of $95,000 upon satisfactory review.

The dredging of the millpond, which can’t take place until after June 1 because of Department of Environmental Equality regulations pertaining to spawning seasons, needs to happen first before any other dominoes can begin to fall for River Raisin Park construction.

If everything goes according to plan, the dredging would be finished in July with bids and contracts being received that month as well. In August the contractor would be able to start and be done by November.

“We’ll lose this season, but it’ll be in place for late fall and next spring,” said Wallace.

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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