Washtenaw County parks & recreation commission meeting (Oct. 8, 2013): WCPARC’s October meeting saw the commission taking final action on the acquisition of a conservation easement on 82 acres in Superior Township, northeast of Ann Arbor. The land is adjacent to 65 acres that are already part of the county’s natural areas preservation program.
The new parcel of mostly agricultural land, on the north side of Ford Road a bit east of Berry Road, is owned by Ford Road Property Company LLC. The intent is to provide a buffer between Ford Road and the land that WCPARC previously purchased, as well as Superior Township’s nearby Schroeter Park. WCPARC authorized purchase of the easement for $413,000, which will prevent the land from being developed.
In a separate vote, commissioners authorized moving ahead on the purchase of 10 acres in Bridgewater Township – located near the southern border of Washtenaw County on the south side of WCPARC’s 43-acre Riverbend Preserve. Commissioners approved the preparation of a purchase offer of $92,500 contingent on completing all necessary due diligence and WCPARC’s final approval.
Also on Oct. 8, WCPARC director Bob Tetens provided an update on the proposed recreation center near downtown Ypsilanti, a project that WCPARC began almost two years ago. The proposal is to build a multi-purpose recreation center on part of the 38-acre Water Street redevelopment area on the south side of Michigan Avenue, next to the Huron River. The project would be a partnership, with the city providing the land, the county constructing the building, and the facility to be managed by the Ann Arbor YMCA.
Ypsilanti mayor Paul Schreiber attended the Oct. 8 meeting, to emphasize the city’s strong support for this project. Discussion focused on possible changes to the design developed by a team of University of Michigan architects and students. The need to make changes arose from the city of Ypsilanti’s 2013 master planning and rezoning project, which is nearing completion.
In addition to the regular financial reports and updates, other actions at the Oct. 8 meeting included approving WCPARC’s participation in Pittsfield Township’s State Road corridor improvement authority. The CIA to improve State Road would entail capturing a percentage of taxes from several local entities, including taxes that support WCPARC.