ST. JOSEPH — St. Joseph Township officials will apply for a grant to help fund playground equipment for disabled children at Kedzie Park.

The board of trustees approved a resolution Monday in support of the “Kedzie Park Inclusive Playground Equipment Project” and will seek $18,000 in grant money from the St. Joseph-Benton Harbor Rotary Club Foundation.

If the grant is approved, the township will commit $7,000 of the total $25,000 project cost during the 2020 fiscal year. Trustees said the project is in line with the St. Joseph Charter Township 5-year Parks and Recreation Plan. 

Township Manager Denise Cook told the board that Trustee Ron Griffin made her aware that the Rotary Club Foundation has $60,000 in grant money available, with a focus on “better opportunities for youth and special needs populations.” She said she consulted with Public Works Supervisor Dave Rindfield and he was aware of a resident of the Kedzie Park area who had requested a special swing for her wheelchair-bound child. 

The small park is on Kedzie Street in a residential neighborhood west of Cleveland Avenue.

The equipment that would be installed if the grant is approved includes a handicapped-accessible swing and a piece of equipment called an Inclusive Wheel Spinner that can hold two wheelchairs and nine total users at a time. The swing would be added to a regular swing set.

“The idea is for the equipment to be inclusive, so these children are playing among others,” Cook said. 

At a board workshop before Monday’s regular board meeting, Trustee Edward Meny asked whether there will be a problem with people wanting similar equipment installed at the township’s other parks. Cook said that concern could be addressed if it comes up later.

In another matter, the board voted to buy a new 2019 GMC Sierra for $30,109.55 from Todd Wenzel Buick GMC of Westland for the Public Works Department. The 3/4 ton, extended cab, four-wheel drive, plow-ready pickup truck will be used primarily by Public Works Supervisor Rindfield. The truck he is currently driving, a 2010 Ford, would be passed on to the parks department, which currently is using a 2000 Ford Ranger.

Cook said pricing for the new truck is offered through MIDeal, which is an extended purchasing program that allows local units of government in Michigan to use state contracts to buy goods and services at lowest prices. In addition to that discount, the 2019 model carries a lower price tag than 2020 models already released for sale, Cook said.

In other business, the board set a public hearing on the 2020 budget for 6:05 p.m. Nov. 4.

Contact: jswidwa@TheHP.com, 932-0359, Twitter: @HPSwidwa