Commission discusses policy to reserve parks

The Marquette City Commission discussed a number of items at their meeting Monday night.

One item was a new policy for reserving parks in the city.

Right now, groups can reserve a park on certain dates for one year in advance.  The policy would allow groups or organizations to reserve a city park for multiple years for high–profile events.  The policy was created in part because the Blues Fest wanted to reserve Mattson Lower Harbor Park for three years.

“They (organizations) can plan for the future, and they know that they’re going to have the park year after year,” Marquette Mayor Pro Tem Robert Niemi said.  “It’s an inconvenience year after year to make a request for the park, and plus it’s nice to have that guarantee so you can plan year after year, and know that next year there are no uncertainties–you’re going to be at this venue and you can tell the crowd at your event this year that you’ll be here next year.”

The commission also discussed construction on the streetscape on West Washington Street near the site of the old Sara Lee Bakery.  The construction would include sidewalks, lane markings and traffic signals.

“The bids are quite a bit over the engineers estimates, so the commission will have to look at that and make a decision whether to award a contract or not,” Niemi said.

The streetscape project is funded by proceeds from the Brownfield Authority’s Tift Project, so no initial money would be coming from the city’s general fund.

“At a meeting a couple of weeks ago we approved $750,000 of funds for this project, and the overage from this portion of this project would come out of the $750,000 for the other part of the project which is a tie in between Veridea Project and the city bike path adjacent to the south.”

Construction would most likely start at the end of this year or the beginning of 2014.