Surveys were placed at the three main parks in Alpena County, and the results have shown not only are the facilities in good shape, but patrons are traveling considerable distance to visit them.
The surveys were distributed at Sunken Lake, Long Lake and Beaver Lake parks and are different from the surveys inserted in Saturday's edition of The News.
"There were very few negative comments. There were a few, not a lot," Alpena County Planning Commission Chairman Fred Wegmeyer said during the commission's meeting on Thursday.
The surveys gave patrons the opportunity to comment on the camp facilities, security, and service, as well as offer ideas for improvement.
Many respondents wrote Beaver Lake Park needed electrical upgrades, while improvements in the bathrooms and more activities for kids were needed at Sunken Lake and Beaver Lake parks, respectively.
The surveys also show how far visitors have traveled to stay at the county parks. Responses range from a few miles up to 300 miles, with visitors from various counties downstate, including Oakland, Lapeer and Ottawa.
Wegmeyer said the park caretakers often were complimented in the surveys.
The surveys will be used in conjunction with a joint survey between the City of Alpena and Alpena County to gather information from residents to be incorporated in a new recreation plan. The plan is necessary for Department of Natural Resources grants.
The commission recommended not changing a fence ordinance in Alpena Township by a 7-1 vote.
Fencing currently is allowed up to the road right-of-way, which is 33 feet from the center of the road, as long as the fence is 4 feet or lower.
The proposed change would allow a 6 foot fence up to the township's setback requirement, which is 25 feet behind the right of way - essentially 58 feet from the center of the road. A 4 foot fence would still be allowed in the setback area, 33 feet from the road to 58 feet from the road.
Board members expressed a concern for safety, questioning if motorists would have difficulty seeing a vehicle coming out of a driveway partially blocked by a 6 foot fence.
Commission member Jerry Meek voted against the recommendation, and commission member and Alpena Township Trustee Brenda Fournier abstained from the vote.
The Alpena Township Planning Commission already has recommended making the change, but the final decision will be made by the township board of trustees.
Sean Harkins can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.