January 23 • 05:20 AM

Almont Park Board renews 5-year plan

Members set new objectives for coming years

New play equipment is among the items the Almont Community Park Board includes on its list of goals and objectives over the next fire years. photo by Tom Wearing.

February 07, 2018
ALMONT — Almont Community Park Board members met Wednesday to re-elect officers and to renew and update the organization's 5-year plan.

Park Board Chairman/ Village Councilman Gary Peltier reported that newly elected executive board members include himself as chairman; Terry Roach, vice chairman; Roberta Kudson, secretary/Almont Township representative; and Rick Tobias, treasurer.

Other Park Board members are Kim Schall, Almont DDA director; Wes Wagester, Almont Lions Club; and Kristina Todaro.

Peltier said the Almont Community Park Board must update its goals and objectives every five years to remain eligible for grant funding from the State of Michigan.

He pointed out that the last time the board identified its specific goals and objectives was in 2013.

"We've accomplished many of goals we had established in 2013," said Peltier. "Now we need to set new objectives going forward."

Peltier listed the installation of surveillance cameras at the park, creation of a community ice rink, cleanups of the Clinton River and park grounds, and renovations to the park pavilion as goals that have been achieved.

"We want more people to visit and make greater use of the park," said Peltier. "We have to continue making improvements to make it safe and more appealing to residents and visitors."

Though no specific time table has been established, Peltier outlined some upgrades he'd like to see come to fruition in the coming years.

"We need to renovate our tennis courts, upgrade the rest rooms and buy some new toys for the children's play area," he said. "However, all the things we want to do are contingent on acquiring grant money."

Peltier added that the existing restroom fixtures are original to the building, making them about 35 years old.

In recent years, the Park Board was the recipient of a substantial grant from the Michigan Recreational Passport fund.

That money paid for various improvements at the park, including upgrades to the park pavilion, the creation of new walking paths and addition of ADA (American Disabilities Act) compliant features.

Peltier said the last day to apply for another Michigan Recreational Passport grant is April 1, a deadline he intends to meet.

"There are a lot of things we'd like to be able to do," he said. "But they cost money."

Peltier, who also coordinates the Park Board's summer Music in the Park series, said he would like to have a larger stage to better accommodate the musicians and entertainers.

"It's been a goal of mine to expand the stage," he said. "There should be enough room for them to set up all of their equipment, without having to place their speakers on the ground.

In the interim, Peltier intends to focus on applying for more grant funding to pay for future park improvements.

Tom Wearing started at the Tri-City Times in 1989, covering the Village of Capac as a beat reporter. He later served stints as assistant editor and editor. Today, he covers Imlay City and Almont as a staff writer. He enjoys music and plays drums and sings with various musical groups in the Detroit Metropolitan area.
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