Notes on 2013 Application for Grant Funds:
p.1 proposal description: 1) The new walkway and additions do not connect to the waterfront walkway loop which goes no further north than Loomis Street, one block south of Ludington. There is no new footpath or bicycle route that goes between the two areas, just a parking lot with fences
around it. 2) the M-116 bicycle shoulder (using the minimum 4' wide shoulder by definition) does not apply until Lowell Street is reached (about a half mile north of Stearn's Park). When the shoulder reaches Ludington City limits, it constricts to less than 4' in width, and has numerous drains making the shoulder less than two feet at 12 points in that span).
The point is this project connects to neither of these other paths, and a quick look at Google maps confirms this.
p.1 project funding: donated materials: $35,000. This money corresponds to the donation of a removable access path to the north part of Stearn's Beach. This was donated in May of 2012 and to my understanding, should not be part of the matching fund for this 2013 project. This would also affect the match commitment percentages.
p.2: project details: 1) Once again, the already donated pathway is included among costs for this year's project, as if they apparently expect it can be donated each year. 2) The project lists 25,081 sq. ft. of concrete work and over $200,000 of costs, but the proposed path is 10 ft. by 360 ft. = 3600 sq. ft. which should cost less than $15,000 using this calculator for sidewalks. That leaves nearly $200,000 for frills. 3) The 8 benches/receptacles cost nearly $3000 each; the high end of the benches they use elsewhere is about $1200, but one could really go down this full list and see similarly inflated figures.
p. 8: Trails: Again the project is said to connect to the waterfront walkway, it also erringly calls this proposed trail to be primarily used by "road bicyclists", when bicyclists will likely be banned from it (since bikes cannot be on the breakwall it attaches to).
p. 10: Numerous inaccuracies, 1) there will be no pedestrian walkway between Ludington and the LSP, that is a distance of 7 miles, and it would all be on the 2'-6' wide shoulder of a highway. 2) the waterfront walkway path is a loop which doesn't end at the lake. 3) There is a sidewalk that runs on the west side of Stearn's Drive which connects the south and north parts of the park more directly than the proposed walkway; this route would add no new safe crossing area, the narrative in the second and third paragraphs, are very inaccurate on inspection. 4) the public has not been involved with this project. its genesis was in committee meetings and in the Planning Committee under very general terms. They had some public input back in 2007, which showed the public had many questions/critiques about it. It came back effectively unchanged only last year.
Although they did hold two public hearings on this project phase and another in 2012, beyond a sketchy overview at the first hearing, information about it was never revealed to the public at all until after those two hearings were conducted (on p.67, the 3-13-2012 article). The Ludington City Charter Section 14.3 says the City cannot "divert to other public use any public park grounds without first securing the approval of a majority of the electors of the City voting thereon in any election." This is more restrictive than state law and requires the dramatic changes envisioned by some of our leaders in Ludington to be voted on by the people of Ludington, a firm majority of whom I believe would be against the 'improvements' and against the cost to them and other residents of this state for these 'improvements'.
p. 12: Disability Connections has already donated the walkway to the City, no need to 'transfer ownership' as it erroneously sates in the first paragraph.
p.13: This project has not been promoted or discussed anywhere other than the public hearings; the newspaper articles are about the extent of the promotion, and you will note last years and this year's public notice are very well hidden in the nooks of p. B3 and p. A8. The average Ludington citizen knows nothing about this project, and the City has not allowed for easy perusal of any of the project or application, as can be seen in this E-mail chain for a FOIA to inspect the application.
p. 37 Notice in 2-15-2013 paper advertises the public hearing is to discuss the application to the DNRTF to discuss unspecified work on the West End of Ludington Ave. No other details have been given out before this about the project since March 2012.
p. 40: I make my five minutes count at the meeting. To read more on the wherefores of why I was not able to attend the 2012 meetings, this explains the gist. Note that no one spoke in favor of the proposed project this year at either meeting except for Tom Coleman, who chaired the Planning Commission and helped plan this project back in 2004-2007, and still serves as a City Official.
p. 47: The resolution lists the already donated $35,000 walkway once again listing it as part of this year's project.
Pt. 2 of 2: p. 21: Note that DEQ permit will expire this year in August.
2013 Application pt. 1: City%2520of%2520Ludington%27s%25202013%2520grant%2520%2520applicati...
Application pt. 2: City%2520of%2520Ludington%27s%25202013%2520grant%2520%2520applicati...