Public comment sought for proposed parks plan

The public hearing is 6 p.m. May 15 at township hall
Bridge repair at Farview Park, 6257 138th Ave., is in the parks master plan that will be open for a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the Laketown Township Hall, 4338 Beeline Road.

The Laketown Township Parks and Recreation Commission wants your thoughts on the 2024 Community Parks and Recreation Plan.

The public hearing is 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the township hall, 4338 Beeline Road.

“The five-year plan is a great resource to have when considering improvements to our township parks and dreaming of what could be,” said Brad Laninga, chairperson of the parks commission. “We want to invite you to the five year plan public hearing. This is your township, and we want your dreams and ideas too. You’ve elected/appointed us to represent you, help us do that well.”

A copy of the plan is available on the township’s website here. Copies are also available at the township hall.

Development of the Historic Town Hall, 6280 142nd Ave., is in the parks master plan that will be open for a public hearing at 6 p.m. Wednesday, May 15, at the Laketown Township Hall, 4338 Beeline Road.

The plan

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

The plan includes a breakdown of township demographics, administration, long-term goals and a parks and recreation inventory. It also lists a Capital Improvement Plan of top projects, their costs and funding sources.

Projects 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.

“Going forward we’re interested in making the parks in Laketown Township the very best they can be and provide you with great spaces to enjoy with family, friends, and out-of-town guests all year long,” said Laninga.

Besides sharing comments during the public hearing, people may submit written comments to the township hall until 4 p.m. the day of the hearing.

The process

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.

“Parks is grateful for the teamwork we’ve experienced working alongside and in partnership with Michelle in our township office. She has helped keep us on track and looking forward,” Laninga said.

The last plan was completed in 2018.