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Hamiltonban Community Park re-visited

Danielle Ryan

(3/9) At the March 1 Hamiltonban Township Board of Supervisor’s meeting Supervisor LuAnn Dille recommended to suspend all applications for a park until further notice until resolution of concerns about the planned park were resolved . Dille voiced concerns about potential safety of the location of the proposed park, and safety within the park itself.

Concerns raised about the planned park include the proposed location of the park, park maintenance and safety, and the cost of the park. Vice Chairman Doug Woernor voiced his concerns about potential safety of the location of the proposed park which would be located at the current Township office. He proposed that the park be located closer to town or within town, which would make transportation easier for community members due to the already existent the sidewalks present in town. LuAnn Dille also voiced concerns about potential safety issues and mentioned the necessity of a chain link fence to surround the park.

Chairman Scripture and Vice-chairman Travis spoke about the cost of the park, which the Township had hoped to offset with state grants, which would be used for various aspects involved in the construction of the park. The application for the grants, which was submitted last year was not selected for grant funding, but the state’s Department of Conservation and Natural Resources (DCNR) designated the Hamiltonban Township Park as a High Value Project, which placed it high on the list of projects that should be funded if funds became available. The grants submitted consisted of a $53,000 grant from the Department of Conservation and Natural Resources and a $90,000 grant from the Department of Community and Economic Development. Given the high priority DNCR has placed on the park, the Commission was urged to reapply for a 2016 DCNR grant.

The construction and installation of the park would come at no cost to the community as it is intended to be constructed on the Township’s land. It is the intention of the committee that the grants being applied for would allow the affiliated construction fees to come at no cost to the community either. Local Boy Scout troops would be asked to assist with the construction of 2 bridges, picnic tables and benches. The Lions Club is also open to helping with the construction of the park. Supervisor Coleen Reamer stated that it is the intention of the Board to bring the tax dollars back to the community in the best ways possible. What better way to do that then bring a community park to Hamiltonban Township, where there is not already an existing community park.

The park would be 3 acres and would house a walking trail along the perimeter of the park as well as exercise stations, horseshoe pits, a multipurpose area possibly for a soccer field or other sports field and a playground area. Parks and Recreation chairmen voiced their concerns and beliefs that there is certainly the potential for further development in Hamiltonban and there will be a future need for a community park to be enjoyed by community members. Vice-Chairman Maggie Travis reported to the Board that there are currently 22 committed project partners for the park, and surveys have been showing that there is 75% optimism in favor of the proposed park.

Dille’s motion to suspend all applications until further notice was defeated and the board voted in favor of applying for a DCNR Grant for the Township Park, including the addition of a chain link fence to separate maintenance facilities and the park being included in the application. The vote was made 3 to 1 with one Board member choosing to abstain.

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