Ypsi scores close to $600k in grants for Rutherford Pool, Michigan Ave pedestrian bridge

As you may recall, early last spring, we discussed the fact that Ypsi City Council was put in the unenviable position of having to “prioritize” between two incredibly worthy Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant applications arising out of active community volunteerism. As you may also recall, Council ended up choosing the renovation of Rutherford Pool over a project that aimed to see a pedestrian bridge built under Michigan Avenue, connecting stretches of Washtenaw County’s Border-to-Border trail. Here, for those of you who are interested, is what I had to say about Council’s decision at the time.

…Our City Council, by the way, decided to assign priority to the Rutherford Pool rebuild, despite the fact that, as far as I can tell, the pedestrian bridge project had a much better chance of actually getting funded by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund. At least, that’s what I’ve been told by folks knowledgable about the grant, and aware of the kinds of projects that have been funded in the past. And, then there’s the fact that the pedestrian bridge grant application appears to be much more complete than the one for the pool, as you can see for yourselves. Of course, it might not even matter. It’s quite possible that the folks assessing the grant applications won’t even take our City Council’s preference into consideration.

Personally, as someone who uses the Rutherford pool each summer, I’d be more inclined to support their application, assuming all things were equal. But, when I look at the facts objectively, and consult with my friends that have interacted with the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, I’m left wondering why our city leaders would choose to support the one less likely to receive funding. The only thing I can think of is that they were under political pressure to do so. As people love the pool, which will surely be closed if the required rebuild can’t be done, I imagine they found it difficult to say no. Personally, I hope it works out for the best, and that the pool project secures the money. I worry, however, that’s not to be the case. I think it’s very possible, given this decision, that neither will be funded. Let’s all hope that doesn’t happen.

As Glen points out, however, the real tragedy is that our community is being forced to make these decisions when, truthfully, both projects deserve funding…

[You can read the whole post here.]

Well, as it turns out, both projects were selected. We just got the good news this afternoon. We were awarded $300,000 for the Rutherford Pool renovation and $289,400 for the development of what’s now being called the Ypsilanti Heritage Bridge… Thank you to everyone involved in both applications… This is incredible news for Ypsilanti, and everyone involved should be bought a drink.

In other good news, it looks like the Ann Arbor Skate Park was awarded $300,000, and another $300,000 was made available for improvements to the Gallup Park canoe livery.

According to the Ann Arbor Chronicle (see last link), the Skate Park project ranked 12th out of the 100+ applications received by the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund board. The Gallup Park project ranked 2nd. I don’t know where the Ypsi projects fell.

update: According to Councilman Pete Murdock, the MNRTF Board of Trustees recommended that 99 recreation projects and land acquisitions totaling $39,665,200 be funded in 2012. The Rutherford Pool ranked 11 and the bridge ranked 47.

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  1. Edward
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 8:50 am | Permalink

    Were there only 12 grants given across the state? If so, that’s great odds for Ypsi/Arbor. Congratulations to all of those involved.

    Is there still fundraising that needs to be done for the two Ypsi projects?

    Can we expect to see work start on either this spring?

  2. anonymous
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:37 am | Permalink

    We got incredibly lucky with this. If neither project was funded, of if the pool had received funding and the bridge hadn’t, it would have created a huge rift in our community. It happens pretty rarely these days, but it sure feels good when luck shines on Ypsilanti.

  3. ytown
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    That’s great news regarding the Rutherford pool! Now if we can only get parents to teach their kids not to shit in the pool, we would be on to something! It happens way to frequently there.

  4. Cooter
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    Who did we vote into office to be so lucky?

  5. Pete Murdock
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 4:58 pm | Permalink

    From the DNR news release:

    “The MNRTF Board of Trustees has recommended that 99 recreation projects and land acquisitions totaling $39,665,200 be funded in 2012.”

    The Pool ranked 11 and the bridge 47.

    Thanks to efforts of the Friends of Rutherford Pool, the Water Street Trail Project, Friends of the Border-to-Border Trail, the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and staff, City staff, Kirk Profit and everyone who helped make this happen. Now on to the Recreation Center at Water Street.

  6. Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm | Permalink

    I thought that I read somewhere, Pete, that there were 100 submissions. As there were 99 funded projects, I’m guessing that wasn’t the case, right?

  7. Posted December 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    And those aren’t turds in the pool, Ytown. They’re are candy bars. Haven’t you ever seen Caddyshack? If you don’t believe me, bite into one. Seriously, I wish that you would.

  8. smellytongues
    Posted December 8, 2011 at 11:09 pm | Permalink

    AWESOME. This is such great news. I’m extremely biased here but another thing that I think would be great for our community is an outdoor (winter only) ice rink. I heard from a friend that years ago there was one in rec park every year. All it takes is some water and a little hard work.

  9. Posted December 9, 2011 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    smellytongues: I think the paved basketball court in Rec Park usually gets made into a rink once it’s cold enough.

  10. Posted December 9, 2011 at 10:34 am | Permalink

    1) We need to address the “ownership” of the Pool. The last thing the community needs is for when we get our EFM she/he can’t turn around and sell it out from under us and privatize it.

    2)Awesome, high winds and a long period of sub-zero weather ruined to ice skating rink attempt–the winds pushed all the water to one side of the enclosed rink, and there it froze for the next two months, impossible to skate on. I believe it ended up tearing up the enclosure that contained the water–they used the basketball black top area to set the enclosure on–the friends of Rutherford might know the details

  11. smellytongues
    Posted December 9, 2011 at 12:38 pm | Permalink

    cmadler and wobblie: Thanks. I’ll contact the pool folks and find out. A couple of this in the neighborhood were talking about how great it would be to have…maybe we can make it happen. There is a pond over at EMU that apparently can be used for skating as well. I think it’s free unless you need to rent skates. I haven’t been over to it before though.

  12. Meta
    Posted April 4, 2013 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    The State’s $300k for the Border to Border Trail has come through.

    The city of Ypsilanti has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant program to go toward the Border to Border Trail project that will run through the city’s Water Street property.

    Ypsilanti is the only community in Washtenaw County to receive a grant for the 2012 round.

    Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation on March 27, approving $23,348,700 in trust fund grant appropriations, funding 76 recreation development projects and land acquisitions in 43 Michigan counties.

    Ypsilanti’s funding will be used to construct a multi-use trail, plaza, fishing pier, Huron River overlook, signage and site amenities. The city believes the enhancements will attract bikers, walkers, strollers and joggers to the area.

    The entire project is estimated to cost about $592,000. The city already received a $289,400 trust grant that also will go toward the Border to Border Trail project.

    The pedestrian bridge will cross from Riverside Park to a corner of the Fischer Honda dealership parcel on the east side of the Huron River. The city recently approved a $31,500 purchase of access easement with the dealership, allowing them access to a piece of property.

    Read more:

2 Trackbacks

  1. […] and that I should just be thankful that, somehow, thanks to the hard work of many in our community, we were able to secure a grant to save the pool, but I still can’t help but think that it didn’t have to happen like this. And, from […]

  2. […] figure out ways to fund the project. And, in 2011, we learned about the opportunity to apply for a Michigan DNR Trust Fund grant for $300,000. When the grant award started looking hopeful, we publically launched a capital campaign in the […]

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