Clawson seeks funding for Grant Park improvements

By: Victoria Mitchell | Royal Oak Review | Published March 14, 2017

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CLAWSON — City officials are eyeing a grant they hope would provide needed money to enhance Grant Park, located on Grant Avenue, east of Rochester Road.

City Council members unanimously gave their approval during the March 7 regular meeting to apply for a $75,000 Recreation Passport Grant through the Department of Natural Resources.

“We are quite excited about the grant and the possible improvements to Grant Park,” said Mayor Penny Luebs.

City officials said upgrades would include removing the two deteriorating tennis courts — one which has not been usable for the last several years — and the surrounding fencing.

The money would then be used to build one new tennis court that would also be lined for pickleball.

“It makes it a little more versatile,” said Clawson Director of Recreation and Senior Services Kathy Leenhouts.

The remaining money would be used to install a new Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant play structure with appropriate borders and ground cover.

Leenhouts said the application would be submitted on April 1, and approvals are based on a predetermined point system.

“It’s not a guarantee that we will get it,” she said. “It always depends on how many other communities submit and what their projects are, based on the point value.”

Leenhouts said they should hear back by midsummer if the city needs to submit more documentation, and then the final decision would be made by the end of the year.

“We’re hopeful,” she said. “It is an area that was done by a grant previously, so they look upon that favorably when you’re refurbishing an area that was already done by grant money.”

Leenhouts said Grant Park is the main park utilized by residents living on the east side of Rochester Road. She said a lot of children use the park and the soccer field, and she’s received multiple requests for an additional play structure.

“We’re hopeful that we will get some money to upgrade that area,” she said.

If the grant application is approved, the city would be responsible for 25 percent of the total cost of the project, which would equal $25,000 to be paid during the 2018-19 fiscal year.  City officials said the money would come from the remaining Parks and Recreation bond money.

No one spoke during a public hearing regarding the grant, which was held before the council considered approving the application.

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