Reed City Council still looking for ideas about veterans park

REED CITY — Ron Howell, city manager for Reed City, believes having more people involved in the brainstorming stages of a project helps generate more ideas.

Howell said that is why the Reed City Council is continuing to seek ideas from residents for a possible site for the city’s future veterans park.

“My impression is the council very much wants to pursue this,” he said. “They have really reached out to the public to share; if they had any immediate ideas to share they are absolutely welcome. Hearing from more people helps you find better ideas.

“There were a couple citizens who were really excited about it when it was first

discussed, but we have not heard back from them.”

Howell said the council’s focus right now is location, so a site can be selected and work can begin on the planning stages of the project, including exactly what will be in the park.

“Once a location decision is made, we can really move forward and begin that process,” he said.

Howell said a couple suggestions presented so far have included having the park along Chestnut Street in a small residential-lot sized area, as well as another location off from Chestnut where a farmers market is held.

“There are some ideas floating around out there,” he said. “Council will continue to seek out more ideas.”

While there is some basic criteria about placement of the park, Howell said the more people who offer suggestions and the subject is discussed publicly and concerns are addressed, it ultimately will help the council make a decision.

“When looking at a location, we need to think about parking for the public and how visible the park would be for those driving by it,” he said.

Howell said he has suggested a possible site for the location of the park to council, saying it is in northern part of the city, where Old 131 and U.S. 10 meet, stretching south to Hersey River on the west side of the road.

“There’s already a Reed City sign and a flagpole at the location,” he said. “It’s sort of a linear park right there, and those coming into Reed City from that direction would be able to see it.”

The city manager plans to ask council members if he should begin work on some conceptual drawings, though no decision or time frame has been made, the city manager stressed.

“We’ve got one spot for a possible destination,” Howell said. “More ideas and more public discussion is needed. Elected officials get a little wary of zeroing in on a certain time frame for a project like this, especially at this point in the discussion.”

For residents wishing to share ideas about the placement of a veterans park in the city, Howell said they are invited to attend the next council meeting at 7 p.m. On Monday, Nov. 21, at city hall.