Recreational staffing needs focus of meeting

MARQUETTE — Due to the recent expansion of recreational facilities within its jurisdiction, the Marquette Township Board on Wednesday will consider hiring additional employees to meet park maintenance needs at the request of the township’s recreation committee.

In a letter to board members, recreation committee Chairman Mike Springer outlined the recent work completed and future projects at the township’s Lions Field Recreation Area and Schwemwood Park.

“On behalf of maintaining the investment the Marquette Township Board has made in our recreational offerings, the recreation committee request that the board consider hiring additional staff to specifically address our community’s recreational needs,” Springer wrote.

The board is expected to discuss the request at its meeting at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at the Marquette Township Community Center, 1000 Commerce Drive. Board meetings are typically held Tuesday, but this week’s was changed due to the July 4 holiday.

Springer said recent additions of the community skating rink, warming building and playground structure at the Lions Field Recreation Area — along with a pedestrian pathway around the site, additional picnic tables and a drinking fountain to be installed soon — have increased the need for more maintenance.

Meanwhile, a larger parking lot and longer Americans with Disabilities Act-compliant pathway leading to a wetland overlook will be installed this summer at Schwemwood Park, where other improvements were also recently made with financial assistance from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and the Iron Ore Heritage Recreational Authority.

“The park now has an improved trail from the parking lot to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, two picnic tables, two benches, four information signs and three sets of trash/recyclables bins in separate locations. Again adding to the need for more staff time,” Springer wrote.

However, the township has in the past experienced difficulties funding recreational-focused initiatives, including financing local matches for grant funding, which officials have said was partly due to property tax challenges and tightened budgets.

The board is also expected to discuss its property along Marquette County Road 492, which the township has tried to sell for several months; hear an update on the 2017 portion of the Local Roads Rehabilitation Project; and consider a budget amendment to reflect the financing for and purchase of a used ambulance.

For more information, visit marquettetownship.org or call 906-228-6220.

Ryan Jarvi can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 270. His email address is rjarvi@miningjournal.net.