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Published: Wednesday, 7/23/2008

Retention pond in Bedford Township has DDA officials thinking green

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER
An artist's rendering shows the planned appearance of Bedford Township's new community park. An artist's rendering shows the planned appearance of Bedford Township's new community park.
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LAMBERTVILLE - The newest park in Bedford Township will be green in more ways than one.

Bedford Township's Downtown Development Authority will begin work soon on construction of a community park at the retention pond near the Kroger Plaza at Sterns and Secor roads.

The one-acre, rock-filled pond, which captures and slowly releases storm water collected from parking surfaces, has been considered by some to be an eyesore.

But DDA members now have a beautification plan for the site that includes progressive ideas that will serve as examples for future development in the township.

A wind turbine will be erected at the green space and will be used to harness the wind and generate electricity to power the pond aerators and lighting, said Tom Helberg, DDA member.

"It should be able to draw enough adequate wind to power lighting and other electrical needs we have there."

The park will be credited for surplus electricity generated from the wind turbine, he said.

A name for the park hasn't been determined. Plans, which were unveiled to township officials at a meeting last week, call for building a shelter equipped with solar panels and landscaping the area with sidewalks. A bridge will be built over the pond and trees and shrubs native to the area will be planted.

Mr. Helberg said a contract was signed with Zink/Covell Excavating, Inc., of Samaria, for the $350,000 project. Construction is expected to be completed in November.

The DDA, created nearly 14 years ago to improve the intersection of Sterns and Secor, adopted an architectural plan submitted by Dietrich, Bailey & Associates of Plymouth, Mich.

The DDA is funded by property taxes from businesses within its district boundaries that are diverted from other sources and used to pay for improvements to the area. The monies have been used for intersection improvements and new sidewalks.

Mr. Helberg said the park will be credited for surplus electricity generated from the wind turbine. He said plans for the project have met the approval of the Monroe County Drain Commission and Monroe County Road Commission.

The park will be open to the public, but Kroger will retain ownership of the property.

"Everybody is on board," Mr. Helberg said.

Joyce Blanton, also a DDA member, said the project will combine the functionality of the retention pond with beautification and use of alternative energy techniques.

"We want this to become a wonderful example of green thinking and green implementation in township improvements," she said.



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