Lansing Parks & Recreation spruces up in new fiscal year

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The proposed budget for the City of Lansing Parks and Recreation department in the Fiscal year 2012 to 2013 allows for proper maintenance and reconstruction of designated areas.

The goal of The Parks and Recreation department is to seek enhancement for the lifestyle of Lansing residents through provision of leisure time activities, preservation of parklands and maintenance of these designated facilities.

According to the 2012-2013 Fiscal Year budget, the proposed parks and recreation general fund is $6,673,801, which is about 79.5 percent of the $8.4 million amount that was proposed for the FY budget.

From the general fund budget, the cemeteries fund accounts for $678,914, the golf fund $822,096, and the parks capital improvements budget $215,000.

The capital improvements budget amounts to 2.5 percent of the general fund.

The Parks and Recreation department is made up of four separate divisions, administration, field services, leisure services, and golf operations.

Improvements include The Henry Fine Park, located in the Pinecrest neighborhood on Winchester Drive at Crown Boulevard.

Wendy Wilmers-Longpre, assistant director of the Park Recreation and Art Administration, said the condition of Henry Fine Park caused need for renovation.

“This particular park was chosen because it was severely run down,” Wilmers-Longpre said. “We had been working with nearby neighborhoods for a number of years to identify improvement in which the residents wished to receive.”

“Along with the funds granted to the city from the Department of Natural Resources, an allocation of funds from the City of East Lansing was also put toward the park,” she said.

Wilmers-Longpre said to clarify what priorities of the park needed to be renovated, the city held public meetings and conducted a brief survey of residents who lived in the surrounding neighborhoods.

“The conditions of the tennis courts initially started the whole discussion of possible renovation within the park,” she said. “It was pretty obvious, however, what components of the park needed renovation.”

Wilmers-Longpre said that there was complete replacement of the “tot lot” playground, designated for children 24 months to 5 years of age. The playground was replaced with a new swing set, climbing structure, and safety surface material.

“The parking lot was also reconstructed to accommodate for people of all abilities to be accessible to,” she said.

The budget also allowed for a private contract and continued partnership with Ingham County for lawn services and trash removal in parks and cemeteries.

The contract allows for appropriate maintenance of parks more frequently, by reducing the need to replace equipment.

The city has joined the Lansing Entertainment and Public Facilities Authority for the purpose of making the Groesbeck Golf Course a more profitable place.

Jason Crocker, worker of the Groesbeck Golf Course said that there is talk about making changes to the course, on holes number six and seven in particular, to alleviate flooding.

“The plan for this to happen has been in the process for a while now, but has not yet been implemented,” he said.

Aside from tax dollars, there is a use of parks millage funds in the amount of $1,910,100.

The use of this money went to financial assistance toward kids camps ($37,550), parks maintenance ($847,746), golf funding ($361,633) and cemetery funding ($448,171).

A few capital projects were put into place with the remaining parks millage such as the Cherry Hill Canoe/Kayak Launch ($15,000), the Moores Park pool filter repairs ($100,000) and the Rivertrail repair and maintenance ($215,000).

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