The Columbia Township Board is applying for a $150,000 grant for changes to the park at the west end of Clark Lake.  If approved, funds would come as a Recreation Passport Grant.  The grant would require the Township to match 25%, or $37,500.  The Township hired OHM Advisors to evaluate and suggest modifications that cover a range of options.

In presenting options to the board, OHM representative Jennifer Morris emphasized the recommendation for a paved parking lot.  The design calls for 12 spaces to be created along the road.  Currently parking is within the park, absorbing space that could otherwise be used by visitors to the park.

Treasurer John Calhoun, a Clark Lake resident, commented on the current expenditure of $6000 on port-a-potties.  He believed installing permanent facilities could mitigate that expense.

There was urgency for a vote at last night’s Township Board meeting.  The deadline to apply for the Passport Grant is April 1st.  During discussion, it appeared that applying for the grant would not commit the Township to certain design issues.  As you can see in the cost estimates below, they vary widely.

This aerial view illustrates the options.

Other board action:

As reported previously, Trustee Mike Trout stepped down from the Columbia Township board to accept the position of municipal services director.  As such he has become an employee of the Township.

Mike Trout

Mike Trout’s position on the board then became open.  The board voted to replace Mike Trout with Rick Church.

Rick Church

Rick Church had been responsible for zoning enforcement as well as the duties that Mike Trout assumed.  The board split Rick Church’s former duties into two positions.  That new position that will be filled by Brittany Stein.  She will have the title of Building/Zoning/Planning Manager.

Brittany Stein

Brittany Stein holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geography and Sustainable Planning from Grand Valley State University.  She has held several positions in which her work experience involved zoning and planning, as well as code enforcement.

Residents filled the room at last night’s meeting (Mon 3/19).  Some were there regarding special assessments for roads at Lake Columbia.  Others were present to  hear about possible changes to the Township Park on Hyde Road, but there was little public comment.

Coming next is a story about updates to the Disorderly Ordinance as well as other updates.  Stay tuned.