The following was written by the Community Center board. It is published here in its entirety.
In response to the letter from Flip Reynolds:
The Clark Lake Community Center board is doing its best to guarantee the long-term future of the Center. In doing so, and with the help of a potential donor, we are embarking on an exciting project to build an outdoor pavilion that will greatly enhance use of the Center and increase our annual revenues. We need more revenue in order to keep the Center properly maintained and repaired. This historical structure is now more than 120 years old, and much needs to be done.
In order to make this project successful, we need to work with the county, as it owns the land that the Center sits on and where the Pavilion will be built. It also has awarded us a $30,000 grant for the Pavilion project from monies acquired from the passage of a county parks millage last year.
Because the Center sits in a county park, county officials at the end of our licensing agreement, which must be renewed every 5 years, could require us to move or demolish the house if they no longer wanted it on their land. However, if the county owns the Center, and gives us a 100-year agreement, we would be assured that the Center could operate independently and yet remain in its present location for the long term.
These are difficult decisions to make – and NO decisions have been finalized yet. But we see some significant advantages to having the county own both the Pavilion and the house itself.
1. It would significantly reduce our annual expenses, which total $10,000-$12,000 a year, and allow us to use more of our money on keeping the Center properly maintained and repaired.
2. It would allow us to have full control over use of both the Pavilion and the house. We would be in charge of bookings for the pavilion as we are now doing at the center, and all of the monies would go to us for maintaining the center.
3. The county would be responsible for grounds maintenance, maintenance of the pavilion and insurance for both buildings. We would be responsible for maintenance of the center and the gardens.
4. It would preserve this precious asset for generations to come. Right now, that is not guaranteed.
5. It would give us a partnership with the county that would benefit both entities.
We appreciate your input, but please allow us to let this process move forward in the best way possible without unnecessary controversy. All of us agree on the ultimate goal: to preserve this part of Clark Lake’s history forever. That’s exactly what we are trying to do.
Clark Lake Community Center Board
John Karkheck, president (517) 745-2929
John Deming, treasurer (517) 529-9117
To read Flip Reynold’s letter to the Community Center, please click here.
To read the original story on this website, please click here.
This board has no moral right to change the structure why the community center materialized. It’s on their heads when they screw this deal up.
There are complaints now on how many venues, on the lake, have music playing. The pavilion would add to it. My question is, how do the neighbors feel about the pavilion? More noise, drinking, drunk and wreckless drivers. If the neighbors are okay with the pavilion then I’ll be good with it too.
What happened to Mickles barn for weddings and receptions? It was an enclosed venue! I don’t think those neighbors liked the noise or traffic. Why would the park neighbors?
I have not read one comment in support of the county taking control- except from the two of you. Why not call a community meeting and see what options open up John K. & John D- Please do. Not make decisions for us without listening to the community.
“Unnecessary controversy”? I am a neighbor adjacent to where you want that pavilion and I want you to be thinking of “necessary input”! I strongly disagree with moving forward with this project without community input. Too many things are not ironed out to make such a commitment! Who polices this new party venue? We neighbors have a hard enough time getting Late night fireworks and personal parties in the park managed without adding a large party venue to that location.
$30,000? That is what has been allocated to our park from our votes? And, it is contingent on a “potential” donor for the specific purpose of a pavilion at the community center? Who is this person and why does a pavilion at that location mean that much to this person or persons? Where is the transparency here?
I certainly realize this is a subject which requires mature and thoughtful consideration and one about which reasonable people may differ. That said…
How do you know it “will greatly enhance use of the Center and increase our revenues”? Certainly that is not guaranteed. What projections support this?
How do you know the project can be properly constructed for a maximum cost of $130,000? I believe it reasonable to think the construction cost to be greater once all factors including compliance with Township regulations are considered. If so, where does the “excess” money come from?
The issue has clearly struck home with many Clark Lake residents and having as much input in the process as possible is better than simply allowing the “process to move forward”.
The process should consider all viable options for the Center to remain private and for the many Clark Lake residents who support this to participate and financially contribute to achieve this goal.