Residents hold sit-in against Wenonah Park pavillion constructio - WNEM TV 5

Residents hold sit-in against Wenonah Park pavillion construction

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BAY CITY, MI (WNEM) -

A three phase enhancement project for Wenonah Park in Bay City has a $6.6 million price tag to it, and some residents feel they shouldn't be responsible for paying up. 

Folks from the community came out Saturday afternoon to host a sit-in and oppose the construction of a water front pavilion.

"We want to keep our park, don't privatize and monetize our park," Sandy Rogers said. 

Rogers is an administrator of the Facebook group called Citizens Against the Wenonah Pavillion, and she doesn’t think the park construction is fair to the people of Bay City.

"The residents of Bay City - we have a lot of residents who can't even afford to pay their taxes and utility bills. It really bothers me to think that there's going to be more venues in this park that's going to charge residents of Bay City. Most of them won't even be able to afford to use the new venues,” Rogers said.

The 5,000 square foot pavilion is just one of three phases for the proposed Wenonah Park master plan.

To make it all happen, the city commission would need six votes in favor of the project to overrule the Bay City Planning Commission's decision last month to reject the project.

President and CEO of the Bay Area Chamber of commerce Ryan Carley said he thinks it's an issue of change.

"Any time there is change, it's hard for communities to kind of embrace the change collectively,” Carley said.

It’s a change that Dianna Hadad and her daughter, Rose, do not want to see happening in Wenonah Park.

"I love our downtown; I love our park. We need to preserve our green space,” Dianna said.

"I grew up coming to this park. I've been to this park my whole life and this pavilion is going to make a huge, bad impact on this park. A huge waste of space again non-profit controlling city land and I don't want this park to be ruined for other generations,” Rose said.

Again, the city commission needs six votes in favor of the project for the enhancement plan to pass. The vote will take place March 13. 

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