ESCANABA – Escanaba city council approved a five-year plan for the future of recreation in the city at its meeting on Thursday evening.
CUPPAD helped the city’s recreation department develop the plan. A long-term recreation plan is a requirement for municipalities to receive grants.
According to an outline of CUPPAD’s plan, the area shows a strong connection to the waterfront, would like more opportunities for young adults and have a community that is pedestrian friendly. Currently, the amount the city spends on recreation is comparable to other communities the size of Escanaba, but the recreation department has fewer employees – three.
What other recreational opportunities do residents want? According to the plan, the best choices are more bike paths and hikes, as well as more activities and events.
In another recreation-related item, council voted to approve a contract with CUPPAD for $ 2,700 to develop a site plan and visualization of an Inner Harbor walkway with integrated fishing docks in Ludington Park.
City Manager Patrick Jordan mentioned that the bridge to Aronson Island could play a role in providing the city’s contribution to matching funds for all possible grants for the catwalk and fishing pier project.
The Aronson Island Bridge was damaged approximately a year and a half ago when struck by a vehicle. The city could repair the current bridge or build a new one. Jordan said the current bridge is 100 years old and the culverts that are part of the bridge’s construction provide poor habitat for aquatic life and are frowned upon by the Natural Resources Department.
Jordan said a new bridge could be built to remove culverts and incorporate approaches for a walkway and a bike path.
The council voted only to approve the CUPPAD in developing a site plan for the inner harbor walkway with integrated fishing docks.
In other matters, counsel:
– lease modifications approved between the city and Bay College for soccer fields.
– reappointed Glendon Brown and Tim Wilson to the Electricity Advisory Committee.
– appointed Kelli Van Ginhoven to the Downtown Development Authority.
– met behind closed doors with the Bernstein Law Group on settlement agreements in a nationwide opioid lawsuit.