November 1, 2014

Parks Board and Standish officials discussing acquisition of Children’s Park

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STANDISH — The Arenac County Parks Board is looking to give the city of Standish a park located on Airpark Drive.

The park, known as Children’s Park, has become too costly for the parks board to continue to maintain, and chairman Ronald Branda said the board is hoping that the city of Standish would be willing to take the land and maintain it.

“I would like to see more money put into it,” Branda said.

Money, Branda said, is something the parks board does not have a lot of.

“I have applied for a number of grants from the (Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe) from their 2 percent fund to update equipment and get new equipment, but I have not had any success,” he said.

Branda said he has written grants for new equipment and the updating of old equipment totaling around $20,000.

He said that the park is used primarily as a rest area for families traveling through Arenac County and some work has been done to the park, but more still needs to be done.

“We have added a sidewalk with the help of the Arenac County Fund,” he said. We have also added pavilions.”

One of the main issues for the parks board is the cost of maintaining the park.

“We have attendance at Oasis Park and Point AuGres Park,” Branda said. “We have to bring equipment and personnel from those parks to (maintain) Children’s Park.”

Branda said that a maintenance worker is paid $8.50 an hour to work at all of the parks.

He said at one time the park belonged to Standish and was given to the parks board.

Branda said that old equipment and underbrush still need to be removed from the park, and some painting will need to be done.

Branda will meet with Standish City Manager Michael Moran to go over some questions the city council has about taking over the park.

“We are going to talk about liability insurance and exactly how many acres the park is,” Moran said.

“The park is in a great location,” Branda said. “There is a senior center being built near the park, and it would be a great place for the seniors’ family to go.”

Branda said if the city won’t take the park, the parks board will continue to maintain it.

“We will hope for more donations and continue to maintain it as best we can,” he said.

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