As reported previously on this website, the Columbia Township board voted to curtail hours at the Township Park at the west end of Clark Lake. The vote took place in July, and since then the park now closes at 5 pm instead of 10 pm. The change was in reaction to problems. Police and neighbors reported fights, use of alcohol and controlled substances, illegal parking, and bringing pets into the park. Fear for safety was certainly a factor.
Some disagreed with the change and registered their concerns on this website and its Facebook page. Also disagreeing with the 5 pm closing was a man from Michigan Center who spoke during public comment at last night’s Township Board meeting.
Later in the meeting, Police Chief Jay Niles reported to the board. He commented that the modified hours brought to zero the number of incidents. You’ll also hear comments from Supervisor Barry Marsh, Treasurer John Calhoun, and Trustee Rick Deland. Alternative ideas to closing at 5 pm were exchanged. They included the possibility of issuing a sticker for residents, charging a fee to non-residents of Columbia Township, having someone present, bring in a consultant, or some other limiting factor. Before any of those ideas would be implemented, they would be discussed further.