Ann Arbor seeking state grants for skatepark project, upgrades at Argo and Gallup parks
Courtesy of Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark
The Ann Arbor City Council on Monday threw its support behind three separate grant applications for construction of a skatepark at Veteran's Memorial Park, improvements to the Gallup Canoe Livery, and upgrades to the boat launches at Gallup and Argo parks.
The city is seeking a total of $900,000 from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment — or $300,000 for each project, city officials said.
The Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark has struggled to raise the $1 million it needs for the skatepark. Washtenaw County's Parks and Recreation Commission has pledged up to $400,000 in matching funds if the skatepark committee can raise other funds.
"The project mission is to provide a free, public, concrete skatepark as a permanent resource for residents in the Ann Arbor area," Amy Kuras, a city landscape architect, wrote in a memo to council members, noting the city has designated a parcel of land for the skatepark.
"The city is not required to provide any direct funding for the skatepark," she added. "However, the city has continued to assist the Friends of the Ann Arbor Skatepark in their efforts to raise funds to build the skatepark. Therefore, staff is proposing to apply for this grant as MDNRE awards grants to the local units of government only."
The Ann Arbor Skatepark Street Team is holding a bake sale on Saturday from noon until 3 p.m. at Arbor Brewing Co.'s Tap Room at 114 E. Washington St. in downtown Ann Arbor. Anyone interested in contributing to the bake sale can contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Kuras noted in her memo that Gallup Park is one of the most popular destinations in Washtenaw County, and the livery is the largest in Michigan.
The level of use at Gallup has increased tremendously over the years, such that the current facilities are inadequate, Kuras said. She said a meeting room at Gallup has poor ventilation, way-finding signs are unclear, and much of the facility is not barrier-free.
The proposed improvements would enable the livery to expand programming for users with disabilities, including barrier-free paths to the docks, as well as barrier-free docks and fishing facilities. Other proposed upgrades include expansion and modification of the patio area, sliding glass doors for the meeting room, redesign of the park entry, improved way-finding signs and upgrades to the heating system and lighting to improve energy efficiency.
Other upgrades at Gallup and Argo also are needed as the launches at both sites no longer meet state specifications, Kuras said.
Matching funds in the amount of $300,000 for the Gallup livery and $100,000 for the boat launches are available from the park maintenance and capital improvements millage.
Ryan J. Stanton covers government and politics for AnnArbor.com. Reach him at email@example.com or 734-623-2529. You also can follow him on Twitter or subscribe to AnnArbor.com's e-mail newsletters.