By SUE SUCHYTA
Sunday Times Newspapers
SOUTHGATE – A 5-year, 1-mill Parks and Recreation Millage, Proposal R, is on the Nov. 7 ballot to generate $620,000 annually to update, maintain and improve city parks and recreational facilities.
If the 1-mill increase is approved, city officials say the estimated cost to the average homeowner would be $42 a year, beginning in July 2018.
City officials say over the past two years a $2 million reduction in the city budget has impacted the city’s ability to provide updates and improvements for the city’s recreational facilities and parks.
Mayor Joseph Kuspa said the Parks and Recreation Department’s five-year plan, developed with input from residents and city officials illustrates the need improve and renew existing facilities.
“I believe that it is very important to allow our residents to decide on whether or not they want to reinvest (in) our park and recreational facilities,” Kuspa said. “It is my hope that we support this proposal so that Southgate remains a great place to live, work and raise a family.”
Proposal R would support five community parks: Lions, Homer Howard, Kiwanis Park (with the miniature train ride), the golf course and the nature center. Cobb and Rotary neighborhood parks would also benefit, as would the less than one acre mini-parks.
Current facilities, including the ice arena and senior center, would benefit under Proposal R.
Planned initiatives, if the millage passes, include new playground equipment and structures and ball diamond upgrades.
The city also wants to continue to increase park access for people with disabilities in keeping with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
A dog park has come under discussion, and adding new trails and connecting existing pathways for walkers, runners and bicyclists is also on the city’s wish list.
For more information, contact the Parks and Recreation Department at 734-258-3035 or go to southgaterec.com.
(Sue Suchyta can be reached at [email protected].)