Township seeking state grant for Pirates Park purchase

Pirates Park is closed and for sale. Township officials are seeking a state grant to buy it.

Pirates Park is closed and for sale. Township officials are seeking a state grant to buy it.

FLINT TWP. — The township’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board has an idea that could bring new life to Pirates Park amusement center on Miller Road.

A public hearing at noon on Feb. 27 is to take public comment and discuss a plan for the township’s Board of Trustees to apply for state grant assistance to purchase the Pirates Park Property and a 14.7-acre parcel of undeveloped land west of the park.

The request for grant assistance would be to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF), a program 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 provided on the MNR web site.

Holding a public hearing is a required part of the grant application process.

The public hearing was scheduled to be held in the Albert A. La Velle Auditorium, in the Charter Township of Flint Offices, 1490 S Dye Road.

Township clerk Kim Courts took comments by phone or email through Feb. 24. Project plans were available for review at the administrative office prior to the public hearing.

Pirates Park is located at 4175 Miller Rd, in the rear of Valley Plaza. The property has been listed for sale for some time. The $1.3 million sale price includes a 8,564 square-foot building, a 3,600 square-foot pole building and 24.8 acres of land, according to the listing by Piper Realty Company at

The property has a five-acre lake and frontage on I-69. Past amenities included a water slide, a Go-Kart track, 18-hole putt-putt golf course, batting cages and boat docks and paddle boats,

Priorities for 2014 MNRTF projects are for trails (including water trails), wildlife/ecological corridors and Winer Deeryard; and projects within urban areas, according to grant application guidelines posted on line.

The MNRTF Board particularly encourages outdoor, community-based recreation, especially in urban areas such as trailways, playgrounds, community parks, green spaces and sports fields.

Over its 38-year history, MNRTF has awarded more than $989 million statewide. A county breakdown also posted online indicates total awards of $8,041,141 to projects in Genesee County.

About 40 past project awards have included $155,000 for the Genesee Bicentennial Park in Grand Blanc Township;; $500,000 for development of a state-of-the-art shooting range in Richfield Township; and $171,000 for improvements including a boardwalk at Kelly Lake Park in Burton. No previous Flint Township projects were listed.

Township officials did not respond to a request for further information.

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