The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Bessemer Township talks Ramsay park improvements

 

April 18, 2018

Ian Minielly/Daily Globe

THE BESSEMER Township planning commission go over the park upgrades Tuesday evening with Anna Lovelace. From the left are Hope Tarnaski, Bob Meyerson, Jim Scholar, Jack Seabloom and Lovelace. The commissioners expressed great happiness with the park and the plans.

By IAN MINIELLY

iminielly@yourdailyglobe.com

Ramsay - The Bessemer Township planning commission met Tuesday afternoon for an extended discussion on the park improvement project. Anna Lovelace, of Coleman Engineering, explained the plans and the members of the commission discussed them in detail. Hope Tarnaski, member of the Ramsay Memorial Park township board and commission, said multiple times how excited she was this was coming to fruition and how long they have waited for the park to be restored.

The township is receiving a DNR grant where the township is responsible for 25 percent of the costs of the park and the DNR pays for the other 75 percent. The township cost is expected to come in around $106,000, leaving around $300,000 on the DNR. The park will be Americans with Disabilities Act compliant as even the trails will use angular rock that will compact so wheelchairs can navigate the paths with ease.

Additional features the planning commission was certain the township would appreciate include, using two lights for access during hours of limited disability. The commission would like more lights, but due to financial concerns cannot currently swing adding lights along the footpath and basketball and tennis courts. Jack Seabloom, chairman, asked if addition electrical lines could be strung so future lights could be added at less cost and Lovelace agreed this could be done pretty simply. The commission agreed this was a great idea and that extra line would be run for future add-ons.

Two bike racks are being installed near the upper parking area, which will accommodate both the park and the Iron Belle trailhead that is coming in the future. The basketball court will be a regulation high school sized court with an asphalt surface, while the tennis courts will have Action Floor Plans special epoxy surfaces, and the township can select the color scheme.

The old stairs from the upper parking area are being removed and new stairs are being built. The new stairs will have a 4 percent grade with 30 steps, which will be less dangerous than the current stairs are.

The play ground area is going to have a zipline and modular playground equipment. The modular equipment allows the township to expand the playground offering in the future is they so decide, while having only the second set of ziplines on a playground in the entire UP, according to Lovelace.

Lovelace is finishing the plans and turning them in to the Department of Environmental Quality, Gogebic County, and the DNR by this Friday. The finished plans will go before the township board at the next meeting for approval; the commission approved them Tuesday. On May 1 the job will go our for bids, with an expected conference with contractors on May 9 to make sure each is on the same page and bidding on the same things.

The township is planning to call a special meeting around May 29 in which to make a selection. Lovelace said Coleman Engineering will make a suggestion, but the final decision is the board's. From that point forth work will commence and the job is expected to be 95 percent done by Oct. 15 and 100 percent complete by Oct. 31. The park will be closed all summer to facilitate the upgrades.

 
 

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