Flint, MI– The Genesee County Parks and Recreation Commission will now be responsible for waste pickup and removal, and general maintenance of all of Flint’s parks. 

On Jan. 24, the Flint City Council unanimously voted to approve a $500,000 expansion to an existing park partnership agreement between the city and the county. The council also voted to accept a $500,000 grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation to cover the costs of the expansion.

“This expanded agreement helps to address inequity/disparity between parks in the city, and provides for services not currently offered in city parks due to budget constraints,” the resolution staff review form states. 

The city and the county have had a park partnership agreement since June of 2014. At that time, the county was responsible for maintaining just four of the city’s parks. In 2016, that agreement expanded to give the county the job of constructing and operating the Riverfront Restoration Project which involved restoring multiple Flint parks. 

Now, with the increase in funding, all of the work under the previous agreements will continue, with the addition of maintenance and waste pickup to all community parks in the city not previously covered. 

According to the agreement document, that includes “limited maintenance,” which includes trash pick-up, playground safety inspection and maintenance, and miscellaneous park equipment repair for 55 parks, “maintenance and operation” for 10 parks, and capital improvements to two parks. 

The first park is Riverbank Park, which is part of the Riverfront Restoration Project which also includes Vietnam Veteran’s Park, Flint River Trail & Parkway, Lewis Street Park, West Boulevard Park, Riverside Park East, and Riverside Forest Preserve. The agreement also calls for capital improvements to the construction and operation of Berston Park. 

The park agreement gives the commission the responsibility of seeking funding for and administering the bidding for contractors with these projects, but the “city reserves the right to ensure public participation and engagement occurs during all phases of planning and design for capital improvements” for those two projects. 

“The commission agrees to work with the community, and city as necessary, to ensure public access to the properties listed within this agreement and to work with event planners to come to reasonable accommodations to ensure that Flint community events are permitted to continue,” the agreement states.

Amy Diaz is a journalist hailing from St. Petersburg, FL. She has written for multiple local newspapers in her hometown before becoming a full-time reporter for Flint Beat. When she’s not writing you...