During the citizen comments portion of the July 6 Northville City Council meeting, Mayor Brian Turnbull figured he knew what Doris Booth was going to ask about. Nick MaizMayor Turnbull running the July 6 meeting by following the agenda for the day. “I think I know what Doris Booth is going to talk about,” Turnbull said. “Doris, I think you would like to talk about pickleball.”
The July 6 meeting began, as it always does, with citizen comments. And Booth was ready for her turn.
Jeremy Cionca hasn’t found time to play disc golf, a sport he once played competitively, because in these past few years he has been busy working and taking care of his family. However, that all changed after the pandemic which gave Cionca an excuse to start playing again. “Lately we have been getting back to the courses because there is nothing to do,” Cionca said. “It has rekindled the fire a little bit. I have a taste for it again.”
Disc golf is a sport where the objective is to throw a disc golf disc into a chain basket from a set distance.
The East Lansing City Council’s June 16 meeting covered a proposed board retreat and the use of police body cameras, but a majority of the council’s time was spent listening to current and future development projects, mainly in the downtown East Lansing development project, as well as improvements to local parks and recreation.
Community and Economic Development Administrator Tom Fehrenbach, updated the public on the status of multiple apartment and housing building developments such as: The Landmark, the Newman Lofts, The Park District, The Abbot and Building C.
“In terms of Center City (The Landmark) the project is essentially complete,” said Fehrenbach. “There’s a few minor repair items, replanting the trees and that sort of thing, but the Landmark has been operational since last fall.”
“The Newman Lofts has similarly been operational, including our parking deck and obviously our open deck dining area,” said Fehrenbach.
According to an article by the Lansing State Journal, The Landmark is a 12-story apartment building, which houses both MSU students, as well as young adults, as its location is convenient for students to be able to access campus.
The Newman lofts on the other hand is a different type of living community. According to an article by The State News, this building is a senior community, meant for residents aged 55 and older. Additionally, this is the first living community like this in the downtown East Lansing. To add to these buildings that have been built, and ready for tenants to move in, Fehrenbach said an additional project that is scheduled to begin the first week of July. A new mural that will be painted by artist Lauren Asta.
“This is the eastern facing wall in the alley between Pinball Pete’s and the project,” said Fehrenbach. Jad Safadi
Between Abbot and Grand River, there is another development in the works. The Park District, which is yet to be completed, although conceptual drawings are available and provided in the meeting. Jad Safadi
“In terms of Park District, obviously with the COVID situation there was a bit of a shutdown and some delay in the project,” said Fehrenbach. “But it is back on track.”
The Abbot, which is on the east side of Grand River is another development mentioned by Fehrenbach. He says it is coming along well, and the work that is being done is smaller things such as bike lanes and curb and gutter work. Finally, he says how inspections are being planned for it, with final safety inspections in the last week of July, and move in planned for late August if all goes as planned.
The final living related project in the downtown development that was discussed during this meeting was Building C, which has been approved according to Fehrenbach. This is a part of a multiple building development, with others being Building A, B, and D.
“They are retooling the design and building team to submit do the work to prep for building plan submittal,” said Fehrenbach. “They are expecting that the team will fire up here in early July, and they are targeting a late fall submittal date, and I think their hope at this point is to break ground by the end of the year on this project.” ”
When opened for discussion, Mayor Pro Tem Aaron Stephens brought up the question to Fehrenbach about plans for spacing out move in for The Abbot this fall, as they do plan to have students living there.
“We are working to try to coordinate all the move ins for the large projects downtown,” said Fehrenbach. “We have requested from each of the Hub, the Center City, and the Abbot their plans, and we’re hoping to bring those folks together, make sure they’re coordinating with each other and make sure they have a plan to stagger the move in to avoid as much as possible the congestion and sort of take into account the things that we learned from last year as well.”
Once the discussion and questions regarding the Downtown Development Project was complete, Mayor Ruth Beier moved the topic over to the next item on the agenda, Parks and Recreation. This was presented by Tim McCaffrey, the director of the Parks, Recreation, and Art department of East Lansing.
McCaffrey presented multiple sports field developments that are currently in the works, or are almost finished. This includes: baseball fields, pickleball courts, tennis courts and basketball courts that will be either renovated or built as part of ongoing, or proposed projects.
“The first project is the Patriarche Park Baseball Field improvement project, which has been sort of on the horizon for several years, and we are moving into completion on that,” said McCaffrey. “It is the four fields that exist in that sort of square were all renovated as part of this particular project.”
In this project, McCaffrey said that fencing, benches and backstops were replaced, as well as bike loops and trash containers being added. Finally two of the four fields had spectator seating added. Funding for this project was displayed through the following graphic.
On a night where many residents from the area had come to express their concerns with the Township board, the board meeting was filled to capacity, but the meeting started on a positive note. In a room filled with Meridian Township residents LuAnn Maisner stood out in her yellow blazer as she accepted Meridian Township’s Commitment to Excellence Award. Michigan Recreation and Parks Association (mParks) president, Brett Kaschinske began Meridian Township’s board meeting on Tuesday, March 17 by presenting the Commitment to Excellence Award to Meridian Township’s Director of Parks and Recreation, LuAnn Maisner. Kaschinske said her high levels of success were deserving of the award. “You have the trails, and parks mileage that you have you have expanded, and done so much for the community,” Kaschinske said.
The former Applegate Driving Range in Meridian Township will become a 23-acre park, with the start of construction planned for early 2017 and the debut expected in 2019. Located in the northern Haslett area off Lake Lansing, Towner Road Park aims to attract as many residents as possible.
It’s the only roof in Holt that needs a sprinkler system and a lawnmower. “If it becomes dry, don’t forget about watering your roof,” Mark Jenks, the Delhi Township Parks and Recreation director, said, laughing. “Yeah, it sounds crazy.”
It’s the roof of the Sam Corey Senior Center, the first and only Leadership in Energy and Design (LEED) building in the community. LEED buildings are marked by energy saving qualities in all aspects of their construction and design. The roof of the senior center is covered in sedum, a grass that can sustain high temperatures and low water and soil levels.
The holiday of Halloween might have once been a night dedicated to those of youth, but has become a time for adults. Many wonder where children come into play for this once youthful holiday. Bath Township, a small rural town where door to door trick or treating is close to impossible, is set to hold an annual event where kids are the focus of the night. Truck or Treat, once centered on an opportunity for large trucks and rigs to appear in a car show as well as provide treats for kids, will be held at the Bath Elementary school parking lot. ““It gives an opportunity, especially in some rural areas, for kids to trick or treat,” said Bath Elementary principal Zachary Strickler.
Meridian Township Parks and Recreation has created a five-year plan to enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors by providing diverse park facilities and recreation opportunities where participants are able be free and enjoy themselves. The Parks and Recreation staff led the planning process and preparation of the master plan, with assistance from the elected Park Commission and other township staff members. The intent of this plan is to identify the current and future parks and recreation needs to maintain and improve the quality of life in the community. “This plan serves as a guide for future projects in our community, and it also provides an opportunity for us to obtain input from the community to gauge how they feel about our park system,” said LuAnn Maisner, director of Meridian Township Parks and Recreation. A survey of Meridian Township citizens showed emphatic support for the maintenance, stewardship and development of quality parks and recreation facilities.
Residents expressed concerns about the location for the future dog park at the March 15th township board meeting. The park is planned for Legg Park at 3891 Van Atta Road, just south of the Harris Nature Center. “I recognize the need for dogs to exercise and I don’t disagree with desires of those wanting to have a dog park. What I do disagree with is the location,” said resident James Kenyon, who lives near the park on Van Atta Road. The dog park is part of the township’s five-year parks and recreation plan.