FLINT TWP. — A Public Hearing at the next township board meeting, March 19, will take public comment and consider a plan to apply for grant assistance from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to purchase Pirates Park, a 38.7-acre recreation center on Miller Road.
Supervisor Karyn Miller said purchasing Pirate’s Park is in keeping with the township’s Master Plan and that this not the first time the township board has considered the opportunity.
The commercial parcel includes a recreation building, a 5.5-acre springfed lake and has offered a water slide, Go-Kart-track, batting cages and a 18-hole putt-putt golf course.
The township board last considered purchasing the property in 2014 but decided against it on the recommendation of its Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, which opined that the township could not afford ongoing maintenance and operation costs.
At that time, the DNR grant coupled with a one-third, matching-fund donation from the property owner would have meant that the township acquired the property for free.
Tracey Tucker, township economic enhancement director, said the current application is an opportunity to make Pirate’s Park Part of a pending Downtown Development Authority plan that could help with financing.
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF), is offered annually for local communities and state agencies to seek grant assistance to purchase and develop land for public outdoor recreation or natural resource protection, according to information on the MNR web site at www.michigan.gov/dnr/0,4570,7-350- 79134_ 81684_ 79209_ 81657—,00.html
Holding a public hearing is a required part of the grant application process. Applications for land acquisitions are due April 1 and the grant award decisions will be announced at the end of the year.
Over its 42-year history, the MNRTF has awarded more than $1,117 billion in grants statewide. A county-by-county breakdown also posted online indicates total awards of more than $16,6 million awarded to projects in Genesee County.
Past project awards have included $155,000 for the Genesee Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc Township; $500,000 for development of a stateof the-art shooting range in Richfield Township; $171,000 for improvements including a boardwalk at Kelly Lake Park in Burton and $300,000 for the Trailway Extension in Flushing. No previous Flint Township projects were listed.
In 2017 awards to Genesee County included $296,000 each for downtown Flint fishing improvements, Grand Fountain Park improvements and improving walkability at Riverbank Park.
The public hearing is at 7 p.m. at the township hall meeting room, 1490 S. Dye Road.