RARE asking for public input on recreation master plan

By: Brendan Losinski | Roseville - Eastpointe Eastsider | Published December 13, 2019

 New equipment revitalized Roxana Park in Eastpointe earlier this year. Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe officials are looking for public input for their recreation master plan to determine what the next changes to Eastpointe’s and Roseville’s parks should be.

New equipment revitalized Roxana Park in Eastpointe earlier this year. Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe officials are looking for public input for their recreation master plan to determine what the next changes to Eastpointe’s and Roseville’s parks should be.

File photo by Patricia O’Blenes

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EASTPOINTE/ROSEVILLE — Officials from the Recreational Authority of Roseville and Eastpointe are looking for public feedback regarding their upcoming recreation master plan.

The recreation master plan will serve as a blueprint or roadmap for all of the recreation authority’s projects, programs and additions over the next four years. RARE has been collecting public input since the summer in order to formulate the plan and now wants to hear what members of the community have to say about the proposed plan that will be discussed and up for approval in January.

“We are collecting input from city residents to see what people are interested in from surveys that were sent in and information collected at public events in both cities,” explained RARE Director Tony Lipinski.

Officials in both Eastpointe and Roseville said such public input is crucial, as the plan will affect people in each community.

“We want to encourage residents to give us their input, because we need to hear from them to determine our goals,” said Roseville City Manager Scott Adkins. “We work for them. This will allow us to narrow our options down to a specific, concrete plan. We’ve been trying to get input from residents since the summer, as we still haven’t gotten that much.”

Not having such a plan would hamstring the authority and prevent it from getting certain grants.

“A recreation master plan is a guide we put together to decide what park improvements we would like to see that we send to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources,” said Lipinski. “Without such a plan, we couldn’t apply to the MDNR for grants. It’s a joint plan for both Eastpointe and Roseville.”

Master plans of this nature are supposed to be written every four years.

“The last master plan was put together when we were formed. It was sort of an informal plan because we were a new organization. This will be a more formal plan,” Lipinski said. “I think our main goal when we formed was just to establish the rec authority and keep us in good financial standing. We’ve moved beyond that since then with trying to add new resources and programs, so I think we were successful in our initial goals. Now we are moving on to the next step.”

RARE officials said input so far has been helpful, but they are looking for more before a final plan is approved.

“We’ve seen a lot of input asking for specific improvements like adding new park playground equipment, adding a splash pad, or repairing sidewalks and tennis courts,” Lipinski said. “The main comment was people wanted us to maintain the existing parks. That was people’s No. 1 priority. Additions of new equipment or resources were next.”

Lipinski added that, unfortunately, some requests would most likely not be possible during the next four years.

“We got a lot of feedback asking for a public pool, but the expenses for that are probably not feasible, because they are very expensive both to install and maintain,” he said. “We would love to have a public pool, but we have to make sound decisions with our funds. A splash pad at one of the parks may be a more realistic goal in the near future.”

Both Eastpointe and Roseville officials are contributing to the plan and workshopping their own ideas of what should be a recreation priority during the next four years.

“We are working on our own master plan, which is being workshopped right now. RARE, Eastpointe and Roseville are working on a specific plan,” said Adkins. “The draft hasn’t been reviewed by our parks advisory board. We are reviewing all of RARE’s programming and its potential future programming, and we are looking at different options for future park needs, or renovations, improvements or replacements of current park resources.”

The current draft of the plan is available at RARE’s website at www.rare-mi.org. Hard copies of the draft are also available for review at the RARE building, located at 18185 Sycamore St. in Roseville; Eastpointe City Hall, located at 23200 Gratiot Ave.; the Eastpointe Memorial Library, located at 15875 Oak Ave.; and Roseville City Hall and the Roseville Public Library, both located at 29777 Gratiot Ave.

“We have a draft of the plan available at both Eastpointe and Roseville City Hall and online on our website (www.rare-mi.org),” Lipinski said. “The public can provide comments and input. There will be a final public hearing in January to discuss this feedback; the date and time and place will be determined. We’d like to start looking at this feedback by the beginning of January.”

Questions or comments on the matter can be addressed by calling the RARE office at (586) 445-5480.

“We want people to go online to submit their opinions or just to attend RARE meetings so their voices are heard,” remarked Adkins. “This shapes the future of these communities.”

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