FLINT TWP. – The township received notification May 16 that it has been approved for a $1.5 million grant from the state for the purchase and renovation of Pirates Park.
The township will receive a $1.5 million Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant, part of House Bill 4244 passed by the Legislature. Flint Township Economic Enhancement Director Tracey Tucker said the township would need to supply matching funds in order to purchase the property. Acceptance of the grant is still pending approval of the township Board of Trustees.
Pirate’s Park, 4175 Miller Road, is a 48-acre entertainment venue partially closed about 10 years ago and closed completely about five years ago, said Tucker. The township has no large community parks and has been looking at Pirate’s Park for some time.
“The state has approved receipt,” said Supervisor Karyn Miller at a meeting Thursday of the West Flint Business Association. “Sure, it’s free money, but a lot of factors go into it.”
She said the township will turn to planners Wade Trim and Associates to draft a feasibility study and the. Flint Township will have 90 days to decide whether to take the grant.
If the board of trustees accepts the grant, the township then will have to go through a process that includes environmental studies and title searches.
Tucker said the township has had a survey posted online to determine if the community wants a park and if so, what they want included in such a facility. She said response to the survey has been overwhelming so far.
“We’ve had 11,000 responses in four days,” said Tucker.
Anyone interested in taking the survey should visit flinttownship.org.
The survey notes that the property has a go-kart track, batting cage, puttputt golf and an indoor event space and asks how important it is to keep those items and update them as part of a future park.
It asks individuals to rate a list of several amenities as very important, somewhat important, not important or no preference. The items include a sledding hill, skating rink, dog park, amphitheater, walking paths, paddle boats, fishing pier/dock, splash pad, playground, exercise stations, outdoor event space (farmers market, concerts in the park, etc.), indoor event space, green infrastructure (rain gardens, permeable pavement), bathrooms, food and beverage options, picnic areas, artwork, interpretive/ educational signage, nature paths, disc golf, skate park, and a trail/sidewalk connection to adjacent township amenities.
The survey also asks how often people would use a park and whether they support grants and/or tax dollars to improve and maintain the park.