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Published: Wednesday, 10/5/2011

Bedford Twp. commission weighs data for updating parks plan

BY CARL RYAN
BLADE STAFF WRITER

TEMPERANCE -- Bedford Township officials continue to receive responses to survey questions about parks that were included in the township's latest quarterly newsletter.

About 325 have been received so far, according to Garnet Francis, a member of the township park commission.

The responses are forwarded to the Monroe County Planning Department, which will use them in drafting a new five-year park plan for the township.

Mrs. Francis said a new five-year plan is needed to replace Bedford's current plan expiring at the end of the year. The plan is a prerequisite for communities applying for grants.

Bedford intends next year to apply for a state and federal grant to improve Lewis Ansted Community Park, Bedford's latest, which is under development on Lewis Avenue south of West Samaria Road. Requests submitted to the state for grant money last year were turned down, but officials still want to put a pond and sledding hill at Ansted.

The survey asks residents what they want in their parks, such as playgrounds, soccer fields, or hiking paths. It also asks if residents prefer to visit a sports park or nature preserve.

Another question asks if voters would support a millage for the operation and maintenance of the parks. The parks currently are supported by the township's general fund, rental income, and revenue from a cellular tower at Carr Park. To this question, 155 respondents replied yes, 84 said no, 75 were not sure.

"We need to get a feel for how people feel about the parks and what we have done so far," Mrs. Francis said. "We would be able to do more for our parks if we had more money for maintenance and repairs. Our budget has been cut."

Mrs. Francis said township officials have no plans to go to the polls with a park levy request. The answers to the survey's other questions have not been tabulated.



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