City of Au Gres seeking beautification volunteers


AU GRES — The Au Gres City Council and mayor are seeking community volunteers for a beautification committee.

“Citizens of the community are invited to participate in a landscape of the property as it stands,” City Mayor Bill Borushko said, referring to the former harbor park property. “It needs some beautification.”

Nearly three years ago the city voted to revert the Department of Natural Resources property back to city ownership and since then has battled its way through loads of work with the DNR and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. While the reacquisition of the property was a tedious one, Borushko sounded relieved to move forward.

During the city’s regular meeting, which was rescheduled to June 12, Borushko said an architect will be on hand with scaled drawings of the property.

“He will have some photos of some design possibilities so hopefully we will have a design decision, or at least narrow it down,” he said.

But a key element is community input both at the meetings and through other channels such as the beautification committee.

While the property will take shape through development that has yet to be decided, Borushko said there is no reason the property needs to be in shambles until that point. The hope is the committee will form some plans for the property that will work for the time being or possibly carry into the new design.

“We would like to have some individuals form a group and come back to us with a suggestion or two,” he said. “We want ideas to come back and the city is going to cover the cost. It is appropriate that we have something permanent or something for the next couple years.”

Borushko said there are likely community members who would have a better idea of what would look good than what he or the council would have.

“We are looking for the community to take this ball and run with it,” he said. “There is no direction as of yet and until we have a final layout I am not sure we can commit to evergreens or perennials.”

Borushko said there is plenty of bare ground, and some structures on the property with a few that may remain, but in the meantime it is a blank canvas.

There is also talk in the city about holding a contest to encourage community involvement in naming the park.

“The area is going to take shape and we are looking for names,” Borushko said. “We are looking to create a very new significant name for the park.”

Borushko said the details about the contest have yet to be hammered out, but he wants community members to start thinking of some options.

To join the beautification committee or take part in the planning of the park, Borushko said residents can contact city hall and indicate they want to take part or come to the city council meeting June 12, which could have an informal beautification committee meeting after.

During the June 12 meeting, Borushko said the council may also make its selection on the new city manager. The council held public interviews for the position May 30 and 31.


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