By Mike Kruzman /

Hamburg Township officials will be a seeking a grant that will help with improvements to a local park.

At the latest meeting of the Board of Trustees, Clerk Mike Dolan shared the Parks & Recreation Committee’s idea to use some of the township’s American Rescue Plan Act, or ARPA, funds as a match for a grant that would fund renovations and new features at the west portion of Manly W. Bennett Park. They had considered offering $200,000 for an equal match, but consultants recommended that with that level of commitment, it would make no difference to try for $300,000 in DNR Trust Fund Grant monies.

What has been proposed is still subject to input, but Dolan said that the $500,000 would allow them to cover items like a kayak launch, hard asphalt pads for ADA-compliant parking, a complete replacement of playground equipment, and a conversion of the concession stand to a public bathroom with running water.

Trustee Patricia Hughes brought up a concern with the idea of laying hard gravel on the trail that goes around the soccer fields, worried about senior citizens walking on it. Supervisor Pat Hohl said there have been developments in gravel that shouldn’t make it an issue. He said there is a new engineered limestone base that has been used in parts of Putnam Township and Island Lake Recreation Area that he would encourage them to look at it. It was said to be almost maintenance-free and compacts down like cement, while being ADA-compliant.

As for the restrooms, Hohl recommended looking into remote activated locks and shutting them down in winter months. Even though they would be losing the concession space, there was discussion on how it currently can only be used for prepackaged food and current trends favor food trucks and trailers anyway. The Board of Trustees authorized having their planning consultants go through with applying for the grant.