The Pitchford Park development in Macomb Township could reach a major milestone on August 3 at 6:30 p.m. when it is presented to the Macomb Township Planning Commission.
The Macomb Township Planning Commission meets in person at Macomb Town Hall, 54111 Broughton Road, Macomb Township. The August 3 meeting is scheduled to start at 6:30 p.m.
On April 14, the Macomb Township Board authorized Supervisor Frank Viviano to sign a real estate donation agreement and closing documents between the township and Kay Arrowhead LLC, representing donors Pamela Pitchford and her husband Joe “Kay” Kowalczyk.
Through the donation, the township has acquired over 14 acres for the park property, which is vacant. The donation agreement stated that the donor wanted the land to be used to create a township park and stipulated that the name Pitchford Park be prominently displayed at the entrance to the park. A plaque will also be prominently displayed in the park, acknowledging the dedication to the donor’s family members.
The land for the future Pitchford Park is located on Romeo Plank Road, between 22 Mile Road and 23 Mile Road. On April 19, Viviano said the property was valued at $675,000.
During discussions following an initial public hearing on the township’s draft budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year on May 26, Treasurer Leon Drolet said the township would fund the development of Pitchford Park using the sale of surplus properties from the canton.
On July 30, Viviano said the site plan for Pitchford Park included pickleball courts, a walking path, a dog park and other amenities.
“We’re trying to look at the whole project and make sure we’re doing it in a smart way that minimizes costs,” Viviano said, adding that the township is in the process of selling some inventory properties.
Although the township also has other properties designated for parks, working to develop Pitchford is the top priority, according to Viviano.
“All of our energies are on Pitchford Park. The township has had many plans over the years to do various projects, and for one reason or another they haven’t done it,” Viviano said, adding that the township is dedicated to focusing on Pitchford Park until until it is finished.
Viviano said if the planning commission approves the site plan, it could be discussed at a future board meeting.
“No board action is required at this stage until we approve the offers,” Viviano said.
Macomb Township Parks and Recreation Manager Salvatore DiCaro said that at present Anderson, Eckstein and Westrick Inc. has only been contracted for the design phase of Pitchford Park.
“I will meet with full-time elected officials to determine who else would be involved with the future of the other parks,” DiCaro said.
As for when development of the park in Pitchford might begin, Viviano said that given the current construction climate and the difficulty in finding available contractors, it’s hard to be certain.
“The way construction is going in Southeast Michigan, it’s almost impossible to predict anymore,” Viviano said.
DiCaro said the township could potentially start work on Pitchford this year.
“We’re still hoping we can start by the end of the year, but it’s probably more realistic that we start next spring,” DiCaro said.
The township has also been working on plans for its current parks. On April 28, the Macomb Township Board of Directors approved a request for a contract to improve Waldenburg Park. This included replacing the bridge promenade and improving drainage along the middle branch of the Clinton River. The contract was awarded to LJ Construction for $344,655. The project was originally scheduled to start on June 1 and end on August 15.
“Due to July weather, we now expect to complete this project by the end of August,” DiCaro said.
The new bridge promenade was expected to have a life expectancy of over 20 years. Waldenburg Park is located on the north side of 21 Mile Road, east of Romeo Plank Road. It is a landscaped park of approximately 17 acres. Waldenburg Park opened in 2002 as the first developed park space in Macomb Township. Its amenities include a picnic pavilion, basketball court, walking path, restrooms, and a children’s playscape accessible under the Americans with Disabilities Act. On July 30, Viviano said there had been repairs to the surface of the community playground and improvements around that surface, such as benches.
On July 30, Viviano said the township also took a closer look at Macomb Corners Park, located at 19449 25 Mile Road in Macomb Township. He said there are plans to potentially repurpose parts of the skate area. Any developments, improvements, or changes to existing parks will be determined in future meetings, according to DiCaro.
“I’m meeting with full-time, engineering and planning elected officials to figure out what we’ll do next,” DiCaro said. “It’s at the very beginning of the talks.”