Parks master plan heading to board for action

Group also approves porta-potty for Farview Park.
The big pond at Farview Park, 6257 138th Ave., on Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2024.

The Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission unanimously approved its 2024 Community Parks and Recreation Plan on Wednesday, May 15, 2024.

The 58-page document now goes to the township board of trustees for final adoption before going to the Department of Natural Resources. The township board’s next regular business meeting is 6 p.m. June 12.

Commission Chairperson Brad Laninga called the plan “an impressive document” put together with public input.

The plan helps guide the commission in planning and projects. It also assists in securing state grants.

“There’s some stuff in here that’s pretty big dreaming, but if you don’t put it down, you’ll never get it,” said Commissioner Tom Hoekman.

During the 18-minute public hearing on the document, three residents spoke, and one resident submitted written comments.

Projects in the plan include beach access and development for $2 million, Americans with Disabilities Act accessibility in the parks for $750,000, restroom facilities for $1 million, Huyser Farm Memorial Picnic Shelter for $150,000 and new boardwalk and bridges at Farview Park for $500,000. Improvements to parking at Shore Acres for $500,000, development of the Historic Township Hall at $400,000 and a playground at the current town hall for $500,000 are also listed.

After the public hearing, the commission made minor changes to the document, adding the group’s mission statement, correcting spelling errors, and adjusting completion dates for a tot lot at the township hall.

The parks commission began the update process for the plan early last year. The group hosted four community outreach events to gather public input and sent out surveys through the mail and online to get comments.

Township Community Development Director Michelle Sall assisted with the project.

The proposed plan is available here.

Other business:

  • The commission unanimously voted to put a portable bathroom at Farview Park, 6257 138th Ave. The portable will replace the current restroom that is a hole in the ground in an enclosed building.
  • Laninga reported the asbestos abatement at the Huyser House is complete. He is waiting for the demolition company to set a date for the structure to be torn down.
  • Representatives for the Beach Access Task Force and Beach Parking Task Force have not yet held meetings. The parks commission set up the two committees in March to look at beach issues including parking, stairs, overall access and the beach ecology.