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Park improvements coming?

Alexander Sinn • Mar 6, 2019 at 12:00 PM

The City of Grand Haven is seeking public input on plans to fund improvements at two of its parks. 

A public hearing is set for 7 p.m. Monday, March 18, at Grand Haven City Hall, 519 Washington Ave., to discuss funding for Sluka Field and Mulligan’s Hollow. 

During a discussion of the parks at a recent City Council meeting, council members expressed a desire to fund the projects gradually and avoid overspending. A proposed investment of around $1.5 million in upgrades to the parks was poorly received, and city staff have reworked the plans into smaller proposals. 

For Mulligan’s Hollow, the city will seek a grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Trust Fund of a maximum of $300,000 and a Land and Water Conservation Fund grant of a maximum of $257,500. The funding would help bring two new basketball courts along Sherman Avenue and parking improvements near the Imagination Station. 

The city hopes up to $150,000 from the DNR Recreation Passport Grant program will help bring a new ADA-accessible playground to Sluka Field, which would replace the existing structure at the east-side park. 

Both projects will build on continued improvements at the parks, City Public Works Director Derek Gajdos said. A $430,000 parking lot was most recently added at Mulligan’s Hollow, while the construction of a new $650,000 bathroom and concessions facility at Sluka Field will begin in May.

The city received a DNR Trust Fund grant of $300,000 last summer to help fund this phase of numerous planned improvements. Other plans in consideration are new sidewalks, paving the parking lot and new field lighting. 

Last month, the city’s Parks & Recreation Board voted to include both parks in the city’s 2019-23 Parks Master Plan. For Mulligan’s Hollow, the plan includes basketball courts, restriping the existing parking lot, relocating the entrance to the skate park, trail signage, dune protection signs, widening the road to Mulligan’s Lodge and other improvements. A new playground for Sluka Field is also a high priority in the Parks Master Plan. 

Gajdos said the Master Plan does not include specific funding, but serves as a wishlist for projects the parks board wants the city to pursue. 

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