Arvon Township Planning Commission Public Hearing for Recreation Plan
Thursday, September 7, 2023
Call to Order: 6:00 PM
Roll Call: Nancy Strohschein, Chair; Linnea Barron, Secretary, Bob Janda, Township Board Representative Robert Lindert, Vice Chair; Jay Loman, Board of Review Chair. Absent: Joe Bollech with notice.
Pledge of Allegiance: Recited.
Introductions/Guests: Jason McCarthy, consultant; John and Kathy Salisbury; Jay Fish, Township Supervisor.
Approval of Agenda: Jay made a motion to approve the agenda, seconded by Donna. Motion carried.
I. Recreation Plan introduction by Jason.
Jason highlighted from the recreation plan that the Arvon Township Recreation Plan (2024-2028) serves as a road map to the future regarding recreation planning and development within the community. The plan’s primary focus is to ensure that quality recreational opportunities are available for users of all ages and abilities. Recreation provision in Arvon Township is a key component of community planning, as it serves as a benchmark for how residents and visitors view their quality of life. The plan includes an introduction to what this plan is and why we need it, how to use the plan, and funding. Contents include a community description, administrative structure, recreation inventory, description of the planning process, description of the public input process, goals and objectives and action plan. Each area has its importance in developing a recreation plan as the information obtained assists in exploring what Arvon Township already possesses, what the community would like in recreation and how to accomplish it. The recreation plan is necessary and includes all the components required to obtain grants for future projects.
Jason stated how the process began with reviewing the old recreation plan (2012-2016), updating information, improving maps, reviewing all the recreational opportunities already in place, setting up a community survey, a community input session, followed by goals and objectives and an action plan. Paper surveys were sent to around 500 residents/landowners, plus an on-line monkey survey was available. There were about 107 responses, about a quarter of the population, which Jason stated was very good. The survey results were compiled and presented at a public input session on May 3, 2023. From the input session, the goals and objectives were developed, and an action plan set up for the next five years. The first two years in the action plan focus on the Arvon Township Park, but Jason added that any of the projects can be moved around to a different date depending on need. Jason stressed how this recreation plan is resident generated.
Funding for projects can be through grants, local in-kind participation, community funding, or the possibility of millage funding. The timeline for most grants is the application needs to be submitted by February 1 and the deadline is April 1. If a grant is obtained it would be for the following year. Most grants do a matching fund of 75% to 25%. Important components in a recreation plan are to prioritize improvements and to use it as a road map for recreation opportunities.
The survey also included a question if anyone was interested in volunteering to be on a recreation committee for Arvon Township. There was a surprising response of fifteen people interested. This will be followed up on in the future.
In closing, Jason mentioned that he has applied to be the Zoning Administrator for our township and could help with grant applications.
II. Process of Updating the Recreation Plan
Nancy felt Jason covered the process well and had a few questions. If donations are obtained from some source, does that count as 25% of the township’s part? Jason said yes it does.
Another question Nancy had was reference to reviewing the plan annually. Jason clarified that it is helpful each year to see what has been done, grant application, what project is being worked on, etc. This could be done at budget planning time or at the first quarterly meeting of the year.
III. Public Comment on the plan.
Jay Fish commented he liked the simplicity of the plan, it does not change the footprint of Arvon Township. Projects are scaled to the rural community. Jay made an additional comment that Lyme pulled their signs indicating permission on their properties. This has to do with the paperwork is incomplete and affects surrounding property owners, so the signs are down for now.
Cathy Salisbury asked if the approved plan will be accessible to all residents. Jason stated the cost of printing is high, but there are a few copies available. The best way to access the recreation plan is on the Arvon Township’s website, which is www.arvontownship.org.
Bob asked Jason how much he would charge for working on grant applications. Jason may become our zoning administrator and the administrative cost in grant application comes out of the grant program, usually 15%.
Donna asked if the Township Board needs to approve a recreation committee at this upcoming meeting. Jason felt it was not necessary at this time, perhaps at budget time.
IV. Consideration of any changes.
V. Approval by Planning Commission – Roll Call Vote.
Nancy Strohschein – yes
Bob Janda – yes
Robert Lindert – yes
Jay Loman – yes
Donna Preston – yes
Linnea Barron – yes
VI. Next steps: Presentation to Arvon Township Board on September 11
VII. Next meetings
A. Monday, September 11, 2023, 6 PM: Township Board meeting where the board will consider adoption of the Recreation Plan.
B. September 21, 2023: Planning Commission Work session, Zoning Ordinance update
C. Wednesday, October 11, 2023, 6 PM: Quarterly Planning Commission Meeting
Adjourn: Robert made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Donna. Motion carried. Adjournment at 6:45 PM
Submitted by Linnea Barron, Secretary