Several Eastpointe city officials were on hand to break ground on the upgrades to Goetz Park July 18.

Several Eastpointe city officials were on hand to break ground on the upgrades to Goetz Park July 18.

Photo by Brendan Losinski


Eastpointe breaks ground on expansion of Goetz Park

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published July 24, 2020

 Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens and Eastpointe Parks Commission Chair Gary Sasek pose by the Goetz Park sign. The park will see major upgrades including new playground equipment, benches, sidewalk, tables and fencing.

Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens and Eastpointe Parks Commission Chair Gary Sasek pose by the Goetz Park sign. The park will see major upgrades including new playground equipment, benches, sidewalk, tables and fencing.

Photo by Brendan Losinski

Advertisement

EASTPOINTE — The city of Eastpointe broke ground on its upcoming expansion to Goetz Park July 18.

Goetz Park, located near the intersection of Eight Mile Road and Gratiot Avenue, in a residential area where Lincoln and Veronica avenues come together, has existed simply as a public space filled with grass for several years. Now it will have amenities such as playground equipment, benches and tables.

“We’re really excited about Goetz Park because the south end of the city really has never had any kind of a structured park,” said Gary Sasek, the chairman of the Eastpointe Parks Commission. “After last year’s success with Roxana Park, this became our focus for this year.”

Sasek said the hope is for the park to offer new recreational options for families on the south end of Eastpointe.

“(Community Development Block Grant) money came in and let us move forward, and we really are going to have a wonderful setup,” he explained. “We’re going to have a playscape for 2- to 5-year-olds, swing sets, three picnic tables, one of which will be wheelchair accessible, extra sidewalk coming in, three or four benches, and we are really pleased with the direction the county has gone by giving us grant money to move forward on this project.”

The Eastpointe Parks Commission decided on the Goetz Park expansion as its next project due to input from residents.

“Being on the south end of the city and putting a park here was a big thing for us. There used to be an ice rink here years ago, but that was the only thing the park was ever used for, except as a patch of grass,” said Sasek. “Listening to the community, a lot of people wanted a park at this end of the city. It’s a unique piece of land, being almost pie-shaped, so it made sense to do some work on this site.”

Eastpointe City Supervisor Joe Merucci said most of the cost for the project will be paid for with the CDBG funds from Macomb County.

“The cost is $276,000, and that includes everything, including engineering, design and so forth; $227,000 is coming from Macomb County through Community Development Block Grant funds,” he said. “The remaining amount, approximately $49,000, comes from the city’s general fund.”

Sasek said the Goetz Park expansion demonstrates the progress that the Eastpointe Parks Commission has been able to make since its reinstitution two years ago.

“The Parks Commission was reestablished in August of 2018, and here we are going into August of 2020, and in two years we’ve done two parks. I think we’re moving in the right direction for the community,” he said. “We are currently discussing another big project for next year, or the year after, that we don’t want to talk about publicly yet because the details haven’t been finalized.”

The previous project, an expansion to Eastpointe’s Roxana Park, was one Sasek declared a success and one he thinks the Goetz Park project will emulate.

“Roxana Park was a success because there was a situation where all there was, was an old swingset and a slide. Everything (new that we put in) was done within two weeks. Because there was more involved with this project, the timeline is slightly longer, about three to four weeks from start to finish. We’ll begin starting the installations at Goetz Park by Tuesday (July 21) at the latest.”

The rules for the park will be the same as other public parks in the city.

“It will be open the same times as our other parks. They close at 10 p.m. and open at 6 a.m.,” said Merucci. “There will be some fencing, but that’s partial fencing to keep kids from running into traffic. The park will be fully accessible.”

Merucci added that with the threat of COVID-19 still lingering, parks have become an even more valued resource to many residents.

“People are home now and concerned about going out, but at a park you’re outside in the sun and it’s easy to social distance while having a good time,” he said. “I know a lot of our parks have been seeing heavy use the last few months.”

Eastpointe Mayor Monique Owens said the Goetz Park expansion is another step to improve the city.

“This is a community for everyone,” she remarked. “That means diversity and inclusion, so being able to have handicapped accessibility at parks and having this be a barrier-free park so anybody can come in is important. We’re not putting limits on people.”

Advertisement