By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
RIVERVIEW – Mayor Andrew Swift thanked residents Michael and Miko Ceaser for offering to fund completion of the gazebo project at Young Patriots Park at the Jan. 9 City Council study session.
“They know that we have been struggling with the cost and trying to keep the cost down,” Swift said. “The Ceasers have more than graciously paid for the whole gazebo – the whole project – and they have our unending gratitude.”
The Ceasers offered a $25,000 donation last summer to help pay for the replacement of the existing structure, which city officials said at the July 11 study session was in poor condition.
At the July 11 session, officials estimated the city would need about $100,000 to complete the project if Department of Public Works employees demolished the existing structure.
Swift said then that he hoped to use part of a windfall from the Michigan Municipal Risk Management Authority to fund the project, since the money was not earmarked for any other use.
Councilman James Trombley suggested July 11 that the city forgo the Ceaser donation and spend the MMRMA windfall on either street sealing or sidewalk repairs.
City Manager Doug Drysdale said last summer street sealing could be paid through the city’s Act 51 funding, which are derived from taxes on motor vehicle fuels.
Swift said to Trombley July 11 that the city would need to budget for sidewalk repairs annually, and urged the council to accept the Ceaser’s initial contribution.
Following his Jan. 9 announcement, Swift led a round of applause for the Ceasers.
“We appreciate all they have done,” Swift said. “They have really helped Riverview a lot. We are really lucky to have you as residents, and we appreciate everything you do for the city of Riverview.”
In addition to the gazebo, Swift said their donations include trees, benches and trash receptacles for the park, and contributions to the city’s Summerfest.
Swift said in an email Jan. 10 that he did not yet have the Ceaser’s permission to disclose the exact dollar amount of their donation.