Voters show their love for the parks

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published August 2, 2016

 Maggie Ceifitz and her son Harry, both of Walled Lake, check out a road grader truck at the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission’s Touch a Truck event at Drake Sports Park on May 1, 2015. The event is one of the commission’s most popular events.

Maggie Ceifitz and her son Harry, both of Walled Lake, check out a road grader truck at the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission’s Touch a Truck event at Drake Sports Park on May 1, 2015. The event is one of the commission’s most popular events.

File photo by Donna Agusti

West Bloomfield residents approved the renewal of the West Bloomfield Parks and Recreation Commission’s existing millage 79.14 percent to 20.86 percent Aug. 2.
With the proposal passing, West Bloomfield will be authorized to continue levying up to 0.3892 mill for a 10-year period. For a home with a taxable value of $100,000, it will cost the homeowner $38.92 per year.

Prior to the election, Parks and Recreation Executive Director Jennifer Tucker said that the community was in support of the renewal. The commission did have a handful of residents call with questions, but all in all, the residents were supportive, she said.

The millage will continue to provide funds for the acquisition, preservation, enhancement and maintenance of parkland. It is estimated that the commission will be able to collect over $1.2 million in the first year of the levy. Funding will be used for operations and developments projects. Previous projects that were funded through the 2017 millage include the Marshbank Park shelter renovations, and the previous purchase of the trail between the trail’s Arrowhead Road parking lot and Haggerty Road.

The commission will be able to continue offering its park programs, including the popular Touch a Truck event and the Marshbank Music Series.

Some residents questioned whether the commission should have put the measure on the November ballot, which typically pulls in larger numbers of voters, but Tucker said that by placing the renewal on the August ballot they would have been able to send it to the voters again in November if it failed.

“West Bloomfield has a long history of supporting Parks and Recreation, and we are so blessed to have such fantastic resources within the township, and we are so thankful to our residents that they support what we do. And we’re really looking forward to the upcoming projects we have and just to keep working onward and upward for our services in the township and for our residents,” Tucker said.

One project that the commission is embarking on this year consists of infrastructure upgrades at Community Sports Park, on Keith Road. Tucker said they will be replacing the backstops on the kids’ baseball fields.

“We’re already underway. We think it’s very important to take care of the residents’ assets,” Tucker said.