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Delta County board weighs disc golf park

December 19, 2012
By Jason Raiche - staff writer ( , Daily Press

ESCANABA - The Delta County Board of Commissioners was presented with plans for a new disc golf park at Pioneer Trail Park during Tuesday's county board meeting.

Delta Conservation District Executive Director Rory Mattson explained the project to the board.

He said the project has been in the works for some time and that the parks have contracted with an architect for $1,000 to lay out two 19-hole courses.

"This will be, according to him (the architect) and everybody else, one of the best disc golf courses in not only the state of Michigan, but in the northern part of Wisconsin, so this should be a big draw," said Mattson.

The Delta County Jaycees have donated $4,000 to the project and additional funding will be sought through grants, as well as a fundraiser in May, and through sponsorships for holes on each of the courses. Each sponsorship will cost $500 a hole and features the sponsor's name.

The total cost for the project is expected to range between $15,000 and $20,000.

"We should be able to have the money for it with the grants that we applied for, so If we can do it all through the grants and through the donations, what we're hoping here is the disc golf course will be open to the public for free. We won't charge at all," said Mattson.

One of the park's courses is a 19-hole woodland ridge course, while the other is a 19-hole river walk course.

The river walk course will consist of three seasonal holes located on what is known as River Island. These three holes will have removable tees in case of flooding in the spring. Mattson said once the disc golf park is built, it will require very little maintenance. The only maintenance will be the tees themselves, which he said can last a long time.

The goal is for the entire disc golf park to be up and running by July 1. He said the courses should be a big draw and something parks staff can use to appeal to the campers staying with them during the summer months.

Commissioner Dave Moyle complimented Mattson and park staff for getting the project started.

"Generally stuff that you guys get involved with is a point of growth and things that I consider being an investment for the county," he said. "When it seems like things are going one way, I salute you for consistently going in a positive direction."

The board also met in executive session, where they discussed two items. The first was the possible sale of land formerly used in the county's parks system many years ago. The property, known as Fishdam Park, spans approximately 165 acres and is located just north of Highway U.S. 2 in Garden Township.

According to Board Chairman Tom Elegeert, the property has not been used for many years. The county had previously discussed working out an agreement with the U.S. Forest Service over the property a few years ago, but nothing came from the discussion.

"If we go ahead with the sale, we will purchase more lands for the park with the money and continue on with the recreational needs for Delta County," said Elegeert. He said the next steps toward possibly selling the property are to survey the property, hold a timber sale, get a property appraisal completed, and request the Delta County Road Commission to abandon an old highway running through the property. The board voted to move forward with these necessary steps.

The board also approved moving forward in allowing Delta County Emergency Management Coordinator Bob Berbohm to enter a contract with Schoolcraft County for providing emergency manager services one day per week. Elegeert noted once a contract is drafted, it will require board approval. According to Commissioner Dave Rivard, Schoolcraft County has no emergency management coordinator in place. Schoolcraft County will pay Delta County for Berbohm's services and reimburse them for the time he would normally be working for Delta County.

In other business, the board:

- approved a letter of agreement with the Delta County Road Commission for use of various computer, technology and software services the commission will receive from the county for a $1,000 annual hosting fee. The implementation of these services is dependent on the installation of a fiber connection to the road commission building, noted Delta County Administrator Nora Viau. Services as part of the agreement include website, server hosting, use of Zimbra Webmail, Internet connection and Internet use. The initial agreement is for one year beginning Jan. 1 and will be reviewed by both parties prior to an annual renewal and review of hosting fee. Viau said the road commission has already approved the letter of agreement.

- approved raising fees on all conditional use, variances, and zoning amendments to $400 at the recommendation of the Planning Commission. According to Viau, the increase is due to increases in operating and publishing costs. The Planning Commission will review all other fees in 2013 to make sure they cover their costs.



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