Groundbreaking held for new Clare Rec Complex

June 30, 2016

Pictured at the Clare Recreation Complex groundbreaking are Dave Coyne and Dan Moore of Coyne Oil & Propane; Rod Loomis and Tammy Miller of Chemical Bank-Clare; Judy Brankel from the Clare Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; Steve Aimery, Dennis Wright, Mark Zinser, Mike Bennett, Philip Brown, John Osika, Cody Zinser, Pat Zinser and Jordan Zinser of Operators Union Local 325; Melanie Prevallet-Muir of the Dairy Phil; Carol Santini member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; Larry Terbush of the Huhtamaki Foundation; Alan Jessup, Clare DPW Director; Joy Simmer, Clare Parks and Recreation Director; Mike Zemko of Zemko’s;  and Andy Purvis of GFA Engineering.

Pictured at the Clare Recreation Complex groundbreaking are Dave Coyne and Dan Moore of Coyne Oil & Propane; Rod Loomis and Tammy Miller of Chemical Bank-Clare; Judy Brankel from the Clare Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; Steve Aimery, Dennis Wright, Mark Zinser, Mike Bennett, Philip Brown, John Osika, Cody Zinser, Pat Zinser and Jordan Zinser of Operators Union Local 325; Melanie Prevallet-Muir of the Dairy Phil; Carol Santini member of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board; Larry Terbush of the Huhtamaki Foundation; Alan Jessup, Clare DPW Director; Joy Simmer, Clare Parks and Recreation Director; Mike Zemko of Zemko’s; and Andy Purvis of GFA Engineering.

By Pat Maurer
Correspondent

Clare City officials, committee members and business people were a few of those who attended the groundbreaking for the planned Clare Recreation Complex on the south end of the City June 23rd.
Clare Parks and Recreation Director Joy Simmer said, “Due to the cooperative effort between the City of Clare Parks and Recreation Department, the Operators Union Local 324, and the support from local businesses, organizations, and community members, the future of a new park here in Clare is becoming a reality.”

She continued, “This is a project that has been in the works for the past few years.” The City started looking for property in 2010 that could serve as the location for the Clare Youth Soccer Program, which has been held in various locations around the City, most recently on the south side of the Clare Municipal Airport property.

The City purchased just over 26 acres on Pine Street on the south side of town in 2012 and the search for funds to develop the property began. Simmer said, “…Clare Parks and Recreation, the Recreation Advisory Board and community members have been fundraising and exploring all avenues to help with development costs.”

The plans that have been designed will not only provide a location for the Youth Soccer Program, which has over 300 participants, but as a total recreational complex that everyone could enjoy.
Included in the design are paved exercise trails and stations around the outside perimeter of the park, ten soccer fields, a butterfly garden, skate park, concession building with bathrooms and storage, a handicapped accessible playground and ample paved parking. “The park will allow visitors to increase their health and fitness through park use,” Simmer said.

Above: Celebrating the Clare Recreation Complex groundbreaking were Clare Parks and  Recreation Director Joy Simmer; Lee Graham, Mark Zinser, Dennis Wright, Mike Bennett, Pat Zinser; Clare DPW  Director Alan Jessup; and Cody Zinser from  Operators Union Local 324.

Above: Celebrating the Clare Recreation
Complex groundbreaking were Clare Parks and
Recreation Director Joy Simmer; Lee Graham, Mark Zinser, Dennis Wright, Mike Bennett, Pat Zinser; Clare DPW
Director Alan Jessup; and Cody Zinser from
Operators Union Local 324.

Simmer said the project will be completed in phases with excavation of property in the first phase.
All of the excavation work and equipment for the work has been donated by the Operators Union Local 324.  They began moving earth at the site May 23rd. Their donation of time and equipment will save about $420,000, Simmer said.

Even the fuel needed for the excavation equipment has been funded. Coyne Oil and Propane contributed towards that cost, estimated at $5,000, and the efforts were also assisted through fundraisers by the National Parks and Recreation Association, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, Clare Youth Soccer participants and coaches, Dairy Phil and Brewin’ on McEwan.

Other organizations, businesses and foundations have been a large part of the project too.
Funds have come from Huhtamaki Foundation, Cops & Doughnuts, Beta Sigma Phi – XI Beta Gamma, Kyle’s Mfg. Company, Friends of Clare County Parks and Recreation, Jay’s Sporting goods, the Chemical Bank Foundation, Strosacker Foundation, Gerstacker Foundation, the Clare County Community Foundation, the Clare Skate Park Committee, the Clare Area Chamber of Commerce, Coyne Oil and Propane, the Men’s High School Soccer Team, Clare Public Schools, Attorney Jaynie Hoerauf, The Mt. Pleasant Discovery Museum, Celebration Cinema, Firefly Golf, Kap’s Koins, the Clare Moose Lodge, Benchley Brothers, Peyton Properties, Snow Snake Ski and Golf, Capitol Equipment, Dagwood’s Auto Repair, Buccilli’s of Clare and Fatching Counseling Services. Many other community members and soccer players have contributed as well, Simmer said.

The total development cost for the Recreation Complex is estimated at $1.8 million. City Manager Ken Hibl reported at a 2013 City meeting, “…Our Recreation Advisory Board has proposed a phased project with the first phase which would provide the needed fields to support and expand the current community soccer program, and provide the handicap-accessible trail and pathway network depicted on the site plan at a cost of approximately $620,000. Phase II, estimated to cost approximately $246,000, will be the paved parking area.

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