Acme Township to Make One-Million Dollar Improvements to Bayside Park

A Northern Michigan township is making one million dollar improvements to a local park.

The Acme Township board is helping to fund changes to the Bayside Park in hopes of attracting more people to the area.

Acme Township has a strategy to use the park — and turn the area into a destination.

“We’ve kind of been this pass-through that everybody is either driving to Kalkaska to go downstate, or coming from upstate, or going north into Elk Rapids,” said Acme Business Assocation Vice President Rod Kuncaitis.

Now, Acme Township wants to change its image from pass-through to destination.

The township unanimously approved a one-million dollar project to update Bayside Park over the next few years.

“In the first phase we’re gonna improve some pathways, making them ADA-compliant. Putting some improvements in our shorefront beach area with a seawall-like arrangement,” said Acme Township Supervisor Jay Zollinger.

The township set aside 100,000 dollars and is looking for grants to cover the rest.

The second and third phases will be the biggest — a new parking lot, new benches, new sidewalk system and playground equipment.

“Phase one will be initiated this current calendar year. Phase two would be ‘17, ‘18, and maybe some in ‘19 based on if we get the grant.”

Local businesses like Osorio Tacos y Salsas say they’re excited to see an investment like this — more money, new faces and new hope.

“We have a lot of people who walk. And they will be walking to right here with us. To take out or to eat here with us,” said Osorio Tacos y Salsas Owner Miguel Osorio.

People from across the state, making the trip to see what Acme Township is all about.

“When you build parks, you don’t just build them for your own citizens. Some people think that. But really, it’s state money we’re getting. So therefore it’s for the public at large that comes to our area,” Zollinger said.

DNR grant applications are due April 1, and Acme Township will find out whether they’ve been awarded in the fall.