Center Line council to consider parks and rec master plan Dec. 3

Public hearing to be held before council vote

By: Brian Louwers | Warren Weekly | Published November 23, 2018

 Center Line officials said having a parks and recreation master plan in place puts the city in position to seek grant funding from the state of Michigan. The plan will also give the city a budgetary framework for projects and programs through 2023.

Center Line officials said having a parks and recreation master plan in place puts the city in position to seek grant funding from the state of Michigan. The plan will also give the city a budgetary framework for projects and programs through 2023.

File photo by Brian Louwers

CENTER LINE — Center Line residents will have a chance to voice their views one more time before city officials consider a new parks and recreation master plan that will guide programs and amenities for the next five years.

The Center Line City Council will hold a public hearing before voting on the plan at its next meeting, set to begin at 7:30 p.m. Dec. 3 at the David W. Hanselman Municipal Complex on 10 Mile Road, west of Van Dyke.

A draft version of the city’s parks, recreation and open space master plan was presented to the council in October. The 37-page document includes a community profile; an updated administrative structure; a detailed inventory of parks, goals and objectives; and an action plan for future investments. It also includes historical perspective and an analysis of demographics, population trends and forecasts.

“There’s kind of a shortlist of things that people have been giving a lot of feedback on as far as what they want to see in the parks,” said Heather Hames, Center Line’s library and parks and recreation director. “People really love our parks that we have, and would love to see them developed.”

Hames said a splash pad at Memorial Park on Lawrence Avenue, north of 10 Mile Road, is something that has come up consistently.

“That’s something that we’d be looking into. It’s something we’d be looking to find multiple sources of funding for,” Hames said.

That said, officials want to know if what they’re hearing is reflective of the wants and needs of the public as a whole.

“That’s why it’s important to have this plan out for review, so we get the general consensus of the whole community, not just the people we’ve heard from,” Hames said.

Other topics under discussion include working with SEMCOG and Macomb County to tie into the state’s Iron Belle Trail system, and a plan to upgrade the city’s park playscapes.

Something that has been mentioned, but not yet identified as a pending project, is the addition of a skate park.

“The more feedback we have from the community, the better we can serve everyone,” Hames said.

Officials said having a plan in place puts the city in position to seek grant funding from the state of Michigan. The plan will also give the city a budgetary framework to use, along with potential grants, to fund projects and programs through 2023.

The plan was drafted through a collaborative effort using city and county resources.

John Paul Rea, director of the Macomb County Department of Planning and Economic Development, said Center Line is “uniquely positioned” to tie into the Iron Belle and the county’s existing trail networks, to explore multimodal transportation and to connect government and business uses to school resources. Center Line’s size makes the scale of such endeavors “easy to wrap your head around,” as small changes bring activity and interest to the community.

Center Line City Manager Dennis Champine said the plan is part of a comprehensive effort citywide to inspire growth and appeal, particularly for young families, visitors and potential business investors.