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Enbridge grant may add to Brandon Township park



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December 04, 2013 - By Susan Bromley

Staff Writer

Brandon Twp.- Sand volleyball courts, and possibly a basketball court may be coming to the township park, 1414 N. Hadley Road.

During their Dec. 2 meeting, the township board approved a motion to apply for a grant that would fund two sand volleyball courts, a linking pathway and the necessary land balancing for the courts at the park.

The grant, in the amount of $25,000, is offered to the township from Enbridge Energy through the Line 6B and Line 79 Environmental Stewardship Program. Enbridge notified the township it may be eligible for the funds last year, as the multi-billion dollar company was replacing more than 200 miles of the Line 6B oil pipeline, six miles of which traverses the township. A 35-foot high pipeline pump station is also being constructed in the township.

The township board also considered using the Enbridge grant funds for construction of a restroom at the park, but decided against this plan, which would have involved a CXT portable concrete building that would have a single unisex stall.

While Recreation Director Fred Waybrant noted restrooms are needed at the park and he currently spends $5,000 to $6,000 per year from the recreation budget for portajohns, he favored using the grant funds for volleyball courts to generate revenue for recreation.

"I think the volleyball courts would be a nice improvement to the park," said Township Supervisor Kathy Thurman. "The bathrooms are necessary, but what was brought to us last night seemed expensive. The CXT building seemed like we couldn't afford that."

The board will submit the grant application to Enbridge by Dec. 31, but Waybrant said the township won't likely see the money until 2015. The board also hopes to be able to use part of the $25,000 Enbridge grant as matching funds for a recreation passport grant from the Department of Natural Resources. The maximum amount of the DNR grant is $45,000, with a 25 percent match. The board will apply for this grant next spring, with the hope of installing basketball courts.

Thurman said basketball courts were chosen for this grant due to affordability.

"Park development is moving forward," she noted, "with the primary use of outside funding sources."

Susan covers Brandon Township and Ortonville
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