Dorr Twp. Board adopts recreation plan, $200,000 grant application

The Dorr Township BoaDorr Rec Parkrd Monday night adopted the five-year parks and recreation plan and then submitted an application for a $200,000 Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant for expanding and remodeling the park along 142nd Avenue.

The grant application, co-written by Dorr Township Library Director Natalie Bazan and Kendal Gilbert of the Williams & Works engineering firm, pledges a township match of $200,000, which Township Treasurer Jim Martin pointed out has been set aside in the budget for years.

The five-year plan is a set of “guidelines for improving the recreation park for residents and visitors of the community.”

Trustee John Tuinstra said he was disappointed the document was being approved with the input of only 57 citizens in a township with a population of about 8,000. He said that means the plan received comment from seven-tenths of one percent.

Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Chris Gesink said, however, that workshops and public meetings were held and surveys were sent out seeking public opinion. He said in one way of another about 600 people had input, however informally.

“I think we have  good idea about what the people want,” he told the board.

Terry Thompson, representing the parks and recreation department, said the biggest idea for the park is to make a facility that will serve the needs of young people and adults and draw people from other communities.

Supervisor Jeff Miling said adopting the plan and applying for the grant must be done now.

“We’re pressed for time,” he explained to Tuinstra.

Bazan added, “The application has to be submitted by April 1.”

Gilbert added, “It’s a five-year plan, and you could do a survey this summer and see if you come up with something different or new.”

The rec plan was adopted by the board unanimously, as was the application.

Gilbert and Thompson indicated the top priorities for spending the grant money will be new bathrooms to replace the Porta-Jons, expanded Little League fields and baseball and softball fields for adults, a football field and resurfacing basketball and tennis courts.

The Township Board in October 2012 purchased 25 acres of land adjacent to the park on the north side of 142nd Avenue to expand facilities and recreational opportunities. The Parks Commission has been meeting since to come up with ideas on what to do with the land.

PHOTO: This is a sketch from Williams & Works on the plans for the Dorr Township recreation park.

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