Jackson adopts ordinance establishing fees for park sponsorships


JACKSON – Township Council members have adopted an ordinance that establishes fees for a park sponsorship and commemorative bench program in Jackson.

Council President Alex Sauickie, Vice President Andrew Kern, Councilman Martin Flemming, Councilman Ken Bressi and Councilman Stephen Chisholm voted “yes” on a motion to adopt the ordinance on July 14.

In 2019, the council adopted an ordinance that established a fund for such sponsorships. The ordinance officials adopted on July 14 will establish the cost of the sponsorships and commemorative benches so money can be placed in the fund.

Individuals and groups may sponsor township-owned parks or playgrounds for an initial sponsorship of two years, with subsequent annual sponsorships. A sign at the park or playground will identify the sponsor.

Donated funds would be used to maintain parks and playground equipment, recreational sports facilities services, benches, picnic tables and equipment, according to the ordinance.

Donations will not be credited toward local, county or any other property tax, but the account will provide for donations that are income tax deductible for the sponsors.

The ordinance defines a park sponsorship as an annual donation for an entire park or a section of a park. Sponsorships may be for playground areas, dog parks, snack stands, pavilions, walking trails, sports fields and courts.

A bench sponsorship will include a commemorative plaque on the bench. The fee to dedicate each new bench will be $1,100, plus the cost of the bench.

The fee to sponsor an entire park for the first time and have a large sign placed at the main entrance for two years will be $5,000. The fee for each subsequent year will be $2,500.

The fee to sponsor a dog park or a playground area for the first time and have a sign placed at the entrance for two years will be $2,500. The fee for each subsequent year will be $1,250.

The fee to sponsor a sports field, sports court or trail and have a sign placed at the entrance for two years will be $1,500. The fee for each subsequent year will be $750.

All fees will be paid to the township’s parks and playgrounds fund, according to the ordinance.

Kern, who chairs the Recreation Committee, said it was wonderful the Jackson Little League sent a letter recognizing and praising the job done by the township’s staff.

“Over the past few weeks, members of this council in conjunction with the mayor’s administration have been working very hard. We are hopeful that we will be able to share the fruit of that work soon,” Kern said.

He said he initiated the park sponsorship endeavor in 2019 with the creation of the account to hold donated funds. That account is separate from Jackson’s general fund.

“With this (July 14) ordinance, families and businesses will be able to sponsor a playground, a field or a court, and (have) a plaque with their name at the entrance. Most importantly, this program will help raise funds for parks and playgrounds without raising additional taxes,” Kern said.

“Congratulations to Councilman Kern, this is a great ordinance and it continues his focus on parks and recreation,” Sauickie said.