Letter to the editor: Moving forward with Russom ParkPublished 8:06am Thursday, April 10, 2014
Both Bill Saunders and I would like correct the statement made in the second to last paragraph of the Dowagiac Daily News article on Russom Park.
At no time did Mr. Saunders or myself make any statement regarding a second phase of construction with in 12-24 months which included new dugouts, concession stand or restroom facilities. As well, the six soccer fields have been built and will be ready for use this fall.
Further, the article states “around $600,000 was received from the DNR in 2011.” In fact, the park was acquired in 2008 at a total cost of $464,726 utilizing $200,000 in DNR grants, with a donation of value by Tom and John Russom and cash matches by the Township and City making up the $264,726 local share.
State grants for development were received by the township and city in 2011, totaling $598,176. This required local cost contributions of $90,000 and $98,828 respectively, for a development project valued at $787,004. In all, the community and state has invested $1,251,730.00 in the park since 2008.
As stated in the article, the playground construction will be the final phase of the current project and community support with be key to its success. However, no specific plans or timetables have been developed for future projects.