05-30-2019 With final approvals given, Riverside park and kayak launch ready to go, Hagar Supervisor

MEMORIAL DAY TRIBUTE… The haunting tones of Taps from the Hartford Indian Emerald Vanguard Alumni Nick McGlothlin honors the fallen at Ely Park during observances hosted by Hartford American Legion Post# 533. (TCR Photo by Jon Bisnett)

With final approvals given, Riverside park and kayak launch ready to go, Hagar Supervisor says

After almost three years of a comprehensive process, Hagar Township Supervisor Izzy DiMaggio has announced that the project to develop a park and kayak launch on the Paw Paw River has just received final approvals and now can proceed to construction. The project, located in Hagar Township in Berrien County, will involve two levels. The upper level will include a picnic pavilion, picnic tables, cooking grills, vault restrooms, asphalt paved ingress and egress off Coloma Road with lockable gates, paved parking, overhead lighting and all amenities ADA compliant. The lower level will feature an asphalt paved driveway, with a lockable gate at the top, which will lead down to a driveway loop. There will be parking, installation of an 85-foot elevated boardwalk over the wetland leading to floating dock and floating kayak launch on the Paw Paw River, with overhead security lighting. The paved roadway, parking, and kayak dock and launch are all ADA compliant. The site, a former landfill off Coloma Road, just east of exit 4 I-196 had been designated as a conservation district, owned by Hagar Township. It is comprised of 112 acres with approximately seven acres used for this project. This kayak launch will be a destination for paddlers from the Watervliet-Coloma area and should provide an increase in tourism and revenue for the area Hagar Township merchants. The project should be completed by early fall. The project started in June of 2016 with the Riverside Downtown Development Authority (DDA) requesting proposals from local engineering consultants. Abonmarche Consultants of Benton Harbor was the low bid and was awarded the contract to apply for grants from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and if successful, administer the project. A $300,000 grant, the largest amount possible for a development project and the largest ever awarded to Hagar Township, was approved by the DNR. Total project costs, including construction, permitting approvals, site plans, inspections, and financial management will be approximately $500,000. The balance of the costs will be provided by the Riverside DDA. No Township General Funds will be used for the development and completion of this project. Over 20 local governments, private businesses, community leaders and elected officials provided Resolutions of Support which positively enhanced the scoring, and approval of the Grant Application.

Supervisor DiMaggio wishes to express his sincere appreciation to the Hagar Township Board for Resolutions of Support to apply for the grant and approve the bid for the project; the Hagar Township Planning Commission for a Special Use Permit; to Abonmarche Consultants that prepared the applications and received the permit approvals from the DNR, DEQ, and Drain Office; and to the Board of the Riverside DDA to initiate the project and provide the local match. Without the DDA, the project would never have proceeded to start construction.

WATERVLIET PARADE… Water-vliet Police Chief Tim Sutherland leads the Memorial Day Parade in-cluding many local Veterans on Monday. (TCR photo by Annette C