Ann Arbor Parks Look to Improvements

Two city parks in Ann Arbor received action at the city council’s March 3, 2014 meeting – Clinton Park in the southern part of town and Gallup Park on the Huron River. For Clinton Park, the focus was new basketball and tennis courts. For Gallup Park, the council is looking to the state of Michigan to help fund a universal access playground. The Rotary Club of Ann Arbor has already pledged $250,000 toward the project. The city is applying for $300,000 from the state and would potentially add $100,000 of city funds, which would make a total project budget of $650,000.

At its March 3 meeting, the council acted on a $133,843 contract with Best Asphalt to rebuild the tennis and basketball courts at Clinton Park. The city’s park advisory commission had recommended the contract at its Feb. 25, 2014 meeting.

Clinton Park is located in the southeast part of the city, on Stone School Road, north of Ellsworth Road.

Clinton Park is located in the southeast part of the city, on Stone School Road, north of Ellsworth Road.

The park is located on the west side of Stone School Road, south of Eisenhower Parkway.

Including a 10% construction contingency, the project’s total budget is $147,227. Best Asphalt provided the lowest of five bids, according to a staff memo. The project will be funded with revenues from the park maintenance and capital improvement millage.

The council’s March 3 action on the proposed “universal access” playground at Gallup Park was to approve applying for a grant from the Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources Grants Management (MDNRGM) to help fund the project. PAC had been briefed at its Jan. 28, 2014 on the proposal.

Representatives of Rotary Club attended that PAC meeting to convey the group’s $250,000 pledge. Colin Smith, the city’s parks and recreation manager, told park commissioners that although there are about 80 playgrounds in Ann Arbor, none are universally accessible. It’s a “huge shortcoming” for the parks system, he said.

At the council’s meeting on March 3, Karen Kerry – president-elect of the Rotary Club – spoke during public commentary to describe the club’s role in this project. She noted that it will help commemorate the club’s 100th anniversary in 2016.

The exact location within Gallup Park hasn’t been determined, but the playground would be about 5,000 square feet and exceed the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The design and equipment is intended to create environments that can be used by all people, with features like ramps, color-contrasting structures, wider bridges and walkways, and playground equipment that makes it easier for people using wheelchairs.

This brief was filed from the city council’s chambers on the second floor of city hall, located at 301 E. Huron. A more detailed report will follow: [link]