Reed City May Apply for Grant That Will Pay for New Splash Pad

Reed City Council will hold a special meeting Thursday night to discuss the Michigan Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).

The grant, through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, ranges from $200,000 to $1 million to help improve usage and accessibility of public property.

The council will discuss applying for the grant that would help renovate and build a downtown pocket park with a splash pad, lighting and other recreation.

“This whole process started probably over a year and a half ago when some people had a vision-an idea-of having a splash pad come here to our community, and we continue to work with that community,” says City Manager Rich Saladin.

The Crossroads Recreation Connection group has been the “fundraising arm” for the project, according to Saladin.

“They’ve been working on getting some donations to support this project,” he says. “They funded this grant with Fleece and Vandenberg to get the engineering done, and we got a proposal that came back and we’re on a tight timeline.”

If the council decides not to act Thursday night, they will have to wait for the next CDBG opportunity in 2023. The application is due Friday, April 15.

“It’s probably one of the most generous grants that comes through the state of Michigan,” says Saladin. “It’s a 10 percent matching grant. So realistically, the bang for the buck is, you know, $150,000 or so and you get $1,000,000 in return.”

Saladin agrees that project will bring vitality and economic growth to the city’s downtown.

“It becomes a focal point for our downtown,” he says. “It’s on the main drive, so everybody will be driving through the area. We’ll be able to see it. And it’s not just the splash pad, it’s incorporating the ice rink into that. So it’s a multi-seasonal type location. It’s got a fireplace in part of in the drawings, a new parking stage, lots of different things that makes it a real community center.”

Saladin adds that within walking distance to the park are several restaurants and with a recent social district area created it will be place for all ages to entertain themselves.