Rogers City parks and recreation look to future projects

ROGERS CITY — New elementary playground equipment, a splash pad and updates to Lakeside basketball courts are some of the projects the Rogers City Parks and Recreation Commission has considered.

The commission discussed the possible plans during its meeting Wednesday.

“All of our commissions have been asked to prioritize items, ideas going forward so the city can consider everything while they put priorities in place. There’s a lot of things our community needs and this will help them with the big picture,” Commissioner Debbie Stiller said.

The commission discussed the possibilities and members were asked to take the information home and prioritize the needs of each.

The first project discussed was the possible acquisition and updates to Herman Vogler Conservation Area.

City Manager Joe Hefele discussed what the status is of Herman Vogler. He said it is now under ownership of the Presque Isle Conservation District.

“I don’t think there’s been any direct dialogue between the city and district board. The conversation is out there among both,” he said. “The city here several months ago appointed a committee that included Scott, before he was mayor, myself and Deb to sit down with a couple members of the conservation district board to start talking about what a transfer might look like.”

The reason they have discussed the acquisition is because the city has access to many more than the conservation district. If the city takes acquisition of the park it would hire an engineer to figure out updates and costs, then apply for Department of Natural Resources grants.

The second project considered is the acquisition of the Rogers City Elementary School playground.

“The playground equipment, it’s in less than sad shape — it needs something. Playground equipment is not cheap so that’s a consideration,” Stiller said.

Hefele said new equipment would be about $230,000.

“The school is a partner on the community park plan that we update every five years. However, the school is not eligible for a single dollar through the DNR unless the school playground is the one in the community, which it’s not. It’s the same argument I can make about the conservation district. The school can make available $60,000 from their building and grounds fund,” he said.

Hefele said with that money on top of grants it could cover the cost of new equipment.

The other projects of consideration include updates to the Lakeside basketball courts, removal of pond and addition of splash pad at Lakeside Park, kayak launch at Seagull Point Park, overhaul of bathrooms at Lakeside Park and updates to lighting at Lakeside Park and boardwalk.

Stiller said after the commission researches and prioritizes the projects they will bring their choices to the City of Rogers City Council.

Jordan Spence can be reached via email at jspence@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5687.