Online survey regarding Pirate’s Park draws input

FLINT TWP. — Flint Township received an overwhelming response to its online survey seeking public input on purchasing Pirate’s Park to create a township community park.

Economic Enhancement Director Tracey Tucker said the survey, which appeared on the city’s website for about four weeks, garnered 1,200 responses.

“It was an unusually high number when we had 800,” she said. “Now it’s humongous. The survey people called me and said, ‘What are you guys doing? We’ve never had this many people respond before.’”

Tucker said she checked the survey at 1,100 responses and found that 95 percent of the people who completed the survey were in favor of purchasing Pirate’s Park. She said she wasn’t sure whether there were more positive or negative responses concerning the possibility of using tax dollars to help fund the park.

“Once we get the full report, we’ll separate out the residents from the ones out of township,” she said. “We want to see how our residents feel because they would be the ones affected by that.”

Flint Township is considering accepting a $1.5 million Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant to purchase the abandoned amusement park at 4175 Miller Road and turn it into a community park. The township would need matching funds in order to purchase the park.

In its heyday, the 48-acre venue included a water park, paddle boats, batting cages and putt-putt golf. But the park partially closed about 10 years ago and closed completely about five years ago. Tucker said the township has no large community parks and has been looking at Pirate’s Park for some time as part of its master plan for recreation.

Tucker said previously all the buildings on the property are useable, and most of the infrastructure is intact. Wade Trim, a civil engineering, planning and surveying firm from Flint, did a walkthrough of the property on June 4 to see what kind of work would be needed and how much it would cost to make the park useable. Tucker said the company will submit a report to the township, and once the survey and walk-through reports are complete, the information will be presented to the board of trustees.

“We need to know what kind of investment it would take to make it useable and where we’d get the dollars from,” Tucker said. “We want to be able to make an informed decision.”

The board will need to take action on whether to accept the $1.5 million grant to purchase the property and move forward with securing additional funds and plans for the park.