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Harrisville takes over MacGregor Field

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz An employee from the Harrisville Department of Public Works mows the lawn at MacGregor Memorial Field on Tuesday. Harrisville has taken over ownership of the park and intends to make improvements in the years ahead, including a dog park.

HARRISVILLE — Harrisville has acquired a sports park from neighboring Harrisville Township and intends to spruce it up in time for spring.

MacGregor Memorial Field, a 17-acre park with two baseball and softball fields and a third that needs basic repairs, has been sold by the township to the city for $1. The city will maintain the park, which also has a pavilion, restrooms, and a community garden area, and do its best to make it an attractive place for more than sports leagues in Alcona County.

The facility is near the city-township line and easy for the city to care for.

Harrisville Mayor Jeff Gehring said he and township Supervisor Chad Spitznagel have been talking about the park deal since the two were elected at the same time several years ago.

Spitznagel couldn’t be reached for comment on this story.

Gehring said the city’s Department of Public Works is located much closer to the park than the township’s. He said the first thing that needs to be done is to mow the lawn and cut long weeds that have grown over the area and get the park ready for winter.

In spring, the park will be prepared for youth practice and games, and then future upgrades will be pursued to make the facility user-friendly for more people.

“The city intends to make it a big part of our recreational plans, and we have ideas for it in the future,” Gehring said. “I would like to have a dog park built and maybe add a basketball court, disc golf course, and maybe horseshoe pits and other things to bring people to it. We have a lot of room to work with, but we want to make sure it is done right and within budget.”

Both the Harrisville State Park and the boat harbor are nearby and people can easily access the park from those spots, Gehring said. Though the park now owned and operated by the city, it will remain open to everyone.

“It has been kind of underutilized for awhile, and we want to bring new life to it,” he said. “We want to make it user-friendly, safe, and fun for anyone who wants to use it for the activities they enjoy.”

Gehring said he appreciates what the township has done to help restore the park by allowing the city to take ownership, and added that he appreciates the relationship the two municipalities have with one another.

“We have a great relationship, and I think everyone understood that this move just made sense,” he said. “I think we can really do something special to it and people will enjoy it maybe more than they had.”

Steve Schulwitz can be reached at 989-358-5689 at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ss_alpenanews.com.

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