The Youth and Leisure Committee publishes the allocations and the list of projects for 2023 | News, Sports, Jobs


New photo by Steve Schulwitz Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan Executive Director Christine Witulski shows diagrams of a major renovation project at the museum. Alpena’s Youth and Recreation Committee has allocated $75,000 in 2023 at an estimated cost of $1.5 million. The project is expected to last approximately two years once launched.


ALPENA – The Alpena Plaza Pool and Besser Museum for Northeast Michigan is expected to receive the largest portion of Alpena County’s 2023 Youth and Recreation funding in 2023.

Overall, the Alpena County Youth and Recreation Committee allocated $564,800 to 29 projects. In total, there were $657,862 in funding requests.

Money for the projects comes from a four-year, $0.5 million levy in Alpena County. The allocation for next year is the first since the mileage renewal was approved by voters in August.

A list of allocations and projects was released Thursday by Youth and Recreation Chairman Tony Suszek.

The Alpena County Board of Commissioners still needs to approve the committee’s grant funding recommendation before money is passed on to recipients.

The biggest check to cut is $90,000 to the Plaza Pool for operations. The pool has struggled financially for years and the local tax has kept the doors open.

The museum is set to receive $75,000 for a large-scale improvement project to improve exhibits and make them more interactive, especially for children. The total cost of the project will be approximately $1.5 million and could take two years.

The museum’s executive director, Christine Witulski, said Thursday that more details about the project will be released soon.

Suszek said it had been about 50 years since there had been major improvements to the museum and the committee felt investing in this museum was worthwhile and exciting.

“The exhibits will be reworked and allow people to interact with them,” Suszek said. “This kind of thing only happens once every 50 years and we wanted to be a partner in it, as the museum is very important for families and especially children.”

Some of the other major allocations include $45,000 to Girls Scouts of MI Shore to Shore for renovations at Camp Woodlands on Indian Reserve Road. The committee approved funding that the facility would be shared with other county residents.

“They assured us that if others wanted to use it, they could,” Suzek said.

The Wolf Creek Park Commission, Alpena Huron Shore Little League and Michigan State Extension are all set to receive $40,000 grants next year.

The money for the park is earmarked for improvements, while baseball league will update the fencing at Reynolds Field. MSU will use the funding for youth programming.

Over the past decade, the Youth and Recreation Committee has voted to allocate substantial funds to improve three county-owned campgrounds – Long Lake Park, Sunken Lake Campgrounds and Beaver Lake Campground.

Now, Suszek said the committee wants to invest in park day-use areas, which are open to residents whether they’re camping or not.

For this round of allocations, Long Lake Park will receive $10,000 for day-use area improvements.

“We’ve invested heavily in park campgrounds, so it’s important to do the same for the day-use area because everyone has the right to use them,” Suszek said. “We’ve told park managers they won’t get another penny until they address these day-use areas and improve them.”

The town of Alpena is also in line to receive a grant.

It is expected to receive $15,000 to help cover the cost of playground equipment at Mich-e-ki-wis Park. The city asked for $35,000.

Unlike years past, public schools in Alpena have requested little funding to help support local athletics. Susek said the school system is in a stronger financial position than in recent years, which has led it to take on more financial responsibilities.

In discussions with APS, Superintendent Dave Rabbideau told Suszek and the committee that the school was in a better position to invest more in its extracurricular activities.

“It’s great because it shows the school system is better off than it was,” Suzek said. “We worked with the superintendent and he said the school system is able to take care of some of the things for young people and recreation. helped fund.

The levy was originally approved in 2010 and invested several million dollars in local arts, recreation and sports programs and facilities.

Some of them, like the pool and the Michigan State Extension, would probably not exist without the financial assistance provided by the mileage. Suszek said other counties have taken note of the improvements made possible through the generosity of voters and have asked for more details so they can attempt to do the same in their communities.

“Cheboygan and several other counties have reached out to me and they see very favorably what Alpena County has been able to do,” he said. “They ask for all the details, like how to distribute the money and the decision-making process. They want to set it up like we did.

The property tax costs the owner of a $100,000 home about $25 a year and would raise about $493,000 a year to support grants administered by the Youth and Leisure Committee for a variety of programs and organizations serving the young people and the public.

See the document below.



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James V. Hayes