Pleasant Ridge Seeks Input on Parks Plan, Including Gainsboro

Pleasant Ridge Seeks Input on Parks Plan, Including Gainsboroessential

(Crystal A. Proxmire, Dec. 26, 2013)

Plans for Gainboro Park and others in Pleasant Ridge are wrapping up, and the City Commission is looking for final input from residents before sending the plans off to Lansing in hopes of getting grants to make improvements possible.

As part of the 2014-2019 Recreation Master Plan consultants at Beckett & Raeder along with volunteers on the Recreation Committee came up with ideas to give the park a more pleasant, Pleasant Ridge feel.

There are two opportunities for public comment.  On Jan. 9 there will be an open house at the Community DENGATE _Fern115_AdCenter from 6-8pm.  There will be poster boards showcasing ideas, and at 7pm Recreation Director and Assistant City Manager Scott Pietrzak will give a brief presentation.

“We have set the time with the hope that parents will bring their children. We would like to hear their thoughts on the equipment and play structures that they would like to see in the park,” said Pleasant Ridge Mayor Kurt Metzger. “The Recreation Plan offers a great opportunity to bring the entire community together to share a plan that addresses the needs of all segments of our community.”

There will then be a Public Hearing on the Recreation Plan as part of the January 14 City Commission meeting.

The plan is required every five years, and it covers all city parks, although Gainsboro is a primary focusdinos02sidelogo3 for improvements based on a recreation survey conducted last summer. The city’s nearly $600,000 recreation budget includes caring for a community center and swimming pool, a dog run and a handful of parks. Gainsboro Park, which runs along the eastern edge of the city along the railroad tracks,  has tennis courts and a baseball diamond in addition to aged playground equipment.  The plan would call for updated playground equipment, new fencing to protect the area from the expressway, and a walking path.  There is also hope for additional benches and bike racks.

“The plan represents an exciting vision for a future Gainsboro Park. In addition to the park layouts, the attachment includes examples of play equipment that can be added for young children; bike racks; benches and tables for rest and conversation; and fence designs for improved safety along the railroad tracks,” Metzger said.sidebar01reader_support

Although the potential for the space is great, resources are limited and residents will have to decide on a funding mechanism if they decide to enact the suggested changes.  “I see the Rec Plan as a great vehicle to bring all segments of the community – east/west; young/old; conservative/progressive together.

“In the end, however, after we have major buy in, we have to face the fiscal reality that we do not have the money that the plan outlines.  The community will have to come together to weigh needs vs. wants and think through how recreation gets balanced against a range of other service needs,” Metzger said. In November, voters in Pleasant Ridge declined passing a Headlee Override to supplement declining tax revenue. A Citizens Advisory Committee is being created to delve into the City’s finances and determine options for stabilizing revenue and managing expenses.  Members of the 15 person advisory committee will be announced at the Jan. 14 City Commission meeting.

Funding for park improvements could come from a Headlee override, or from a fund set aside when land was ctechadpurchased by the state to put in I-696, and possibly supplemented with grants.  The recreation plan is an idealized vision of where the city could be if funding could be secured.  It is not a guarantee that the suggestions will become reality.

The full plan is available at

The plans added on for Gainsboro, including artist rendering and pictures of specific items, can be downloaded at

Those who cannot attend the open house or public hearing can send their comments to, or drop them off in writing at City Hall. sidebar bottom bar 115




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