Bay View Park in Alpena to get restrooms and pavilion
ALPENA — Residents of Alpena and Rogers City may see large improvements to the parks that neighbor their harbors thanks to a pair of grants from the state.
A new bathroom and pavilion are in the works for Bay View Park in Alpena, while the pavilion and playground at Lakeside Park in Rogers City may be totally revamped.
Harrisville could also receive $50,000 to help pay for the replacement of the footbridge at Harrisville State Park.
The grant announcements came in a press release from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer who signed off on the projects and funding for them.
The grants are pending final approval from the legislature during the appropriation process.
Alpena is slated to receive $300,000 from a grant to help cover the cost of the project that could begin in or around the summer of 2023.
The city is required to provide a $600,000 match, which it will spread out over two budget cycles, so it is less of a blow to the city’s finances, City Engineer Steve Shultz said Friday.
Shultz said the new amenities, which will be near the entrance of the Kiwanis Kiddie Park on Prentiss Street, could be built as one structure and the design plans could be done in the coming months. He said the city wants the structure to be similar to the ones at Starlite Beach and the trailhead.
“We are looking at going with the same kind of look,” he said.
The city has been without a public restroom facility for several years, as the former one at the end of Chisholm Street near the harbor was closed and then torn down because of its poor condition. Shultz said having a new restroom and pavilion will likely draw more people to the park and the harbor.
“It will help with events at the bandshell, plus, it’s close to the harbor and even downtown, it will be nice,” he said. “I think it will draw more people there and give people another reason to stop at the park.”
Rogers City is slated to receive a $185,000 trust fund grant for the park improvements and is committed to contributing the $60,000 match.
Mayor Scott McLennan said the pavilion at Lakeside Park has needed a complete renovation for some time, and once completed it will be fully handicap accessible. He said some of the playground equipment at the park is more than 60 years old, so updating and modernising it is important.
“That is the same equipment that I used to play on when I was a boy, so that will be a nice addition,” McLennan said. “The pavilion is just really old and in need of an entire facelift, so this is obviously very big for us.”
In her press release, Whitmer said investment in outdoor recreation and amenities helps to strengthen local economies and more importantly people’s physical and mental health.
“The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund continues to provide the significant investment that creates better, broader access to quality outdoor recreation opportunities for Michigan residents and visitors throughout our state,” Whitmer said in the release. “Whether you’re camping, enjoying a park close to home, exploring forest trails or just taking in a scenic view, all of these trust fund-supported experiences contribute mightily to local economies and our mental and physical well-being.”
In total the state approved $20,072,500 for 82 local government projects.
The trust fund receives its money through interest and earnings related to the revenues of state-owned oil, gas, and minerals.