Allen Park to acquire Baker College land southeast of campus for DPW yard

Photo by Sue Suchyta Allen Park City Council members Gail McLeod (left) and Tina Gaworecki (right) listen as Finance Director Robert Cady (standing, front) provides information about the city's acquisition of Baker College land, currently used in part at athletic fields, for a Department of Public Works yard at a Nov.13 city council study session.

Photo by Sue Suchyta
Allen Park City Council members Gail McLeod (left) and Tina Gaworecki (right) listen as Finance Director Robert Cady (standing, front) provides information about the city’s acquisition of Baker College land, currently used in part at athletic fields, for a Department of Public Works yard at a Nov.13 city council study session.

By Sue Suchyta
Sunday Times Newspapers

ALLEN PARK – A much-needed Department of Public Works yard may soon be located southeast of Baker College, 4500 Enterprise Drive, northwest of International Wholesale, 4000 Allen Road, and southwest of Outer Drive.

The city has a purchase agreement with Baker College for the land, Mayor William Matakas said at the Nov. 13 city council meeting. He said Baker College bought the property but never used it.

“We are combining the three sites that we currently have into that site over there,” Matakas said. “We estimate the whole project will be around $5 million.”

Matakas said the city likely will pay for the property and improvements with money from the building reserve, sewer and water reserve, and with some funds from the city’s general fund, and residents will not be asked to support a millage to pay for the project.
“We would probably be selling the four acres where we have the impound lot, the maintenance building, the salt dome,” Matakas said. “We have a couple of buyers interested in that. That would give us a substantial portion of the funds to use there.”

Part of the property currently has athletic fields.

In a city council study session prior to the city council meeting, Finance Director Robert Cady said there is room on the site for future expansion.

“The concept here was just basically to get everything on the site to make sure there was room, and also for a little bit of future expansion,” Cady said, pointing to the site plan drawing on the study session table. “When we first thought about this site as being 12 acres, we thought it was too big, but now, when you see the whole thing laid out, I guess it isn’t too big.”

Cady said Wayne County will require a storm water management plan for runoff on the southwest part of the site.
He said the site will have salt, sand and aggregate storage areas. There is also room for a facility building, a maintenance building, offices, and parking for both the facility and the existing athletic field.

Cady said there is also room for a garage for any impounded vehicles that have to be stored inside.

“We were just trying to put everything on the site to see how it fit,” Cady said. “Once we show this to whoever is selected to be the architect, it may get moved around, but we think it’s a decent plan to start with.”

The property borders Outer Drive for about 400 to 500 feet, City Manager Mark Kibby said.

“The (proposed) dog park there is 1.74 acres,” Kibby said.
Kibby said most of the traffic would enter the site through the Hanna Street entrance, where there is a traffic light. He said the second driveway would be used to help with circular traffic entering and exiting, like the DPS trucks, a fire truck and similar vehicles.

“The mayor mentioned his initial concern that on the drawing there was not enough of a turning radius,” Kibby said. “I think there is still a concern, and maybe we can make sure the fire trucks can swing in there. Those things don’t turn on a dime.”

Kibby said there was enough space at the site to make everything work right away and still allow for future expansion. He said the water department might need a storage building as well.

Cady said as soon as the city has the approval of the city attorney, they will seek quotes for a site plan.

(Sue Suchyta can be reached at sue.suchyta@yahoo.com.)

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