City Manager's Weekly Blog
End of Summer Update (September 6, 2018)
We will endeavor to update this City Manager Blog on a periodic basis as an attempt to keep the residents up to date on the weekly happenings with your local government. As always, if there is something you want to know about the City of Allegan, just give us a call at City Hall (269.673.5511).
Whew! It has been a busy summer in Allegan and as we transfer from warm summer days to cool fall nights we are not going to slow down in the City. There are too many good things going on in this city.
Development Continues to happen in Allegan - and we continue to plan for the future!
This past year we sold all of the available parcels in the Industrial Park. The Michigan Gas Utilities building is well on its way to being finished, and the Recycle Now building, has received its site plan approval from the Planning Commission and will begin construction shortly.
Lumberman Lofts (the old JCPenney Store) is moving forward at a swift pace, as is the redevelopment of 136 Brady Street. These two projects combined will bring another 11 apartments to our Downtown Area. Small businesses are growing and expanding as the locally grown The Sassy Olive is moving from one end of Locust Street to the other and into a much larger building. And while we hear of some mainstay businesses closing, their buildings are quickly being acquired and new tenants are being planned for their spaces. There are less vacancies downtown then we realize.
Brady Street Lot
Due to the success of our downtown and overall relationship with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (the State Department responsible for pumping hundreds of thousands of dollars into our local economy over the past year) we were one of only a few cities in the state to be selected to receive pro bono work to help market the development of 101 Brady Street. Like the rest of our downtown, this lot is currently zoned C-1 Central Business District and allows for a mixture of uses. This lot has not always been vacant and at one time was the location of a building that added value to the local economy by providing jobs and a place for community commerce to take place.
As part of this pro bono work, City Staff assembled a group of community leaders, including two council members, a representative from the Chamber of Commerce, a representative from the Allegan District Library, a realtor, a community member on the forefront of Neighborhood Engagement, the City's Development Consultant and three city staff persons to discuss in general what kind of development they would like to see at this site. The majority of those present at this meeting felt this lot should be developed into a mixed use, multi-story building that is not just more of the same but a statement building that compliments the river, the boardwalk and park space to the north.
Information from this meeting will result in a marketing brochure that will go out to developers throughout the midwest and the country encouraging them to come to Allegan to develop this lot and be part of our growing community.
Riverfront Park / Splashpad Project Update
The improvements to Allegan's Riverfront continue to happen with the construction of the final phase, which includes the installation of a splash pad, an outdoor fire place, landscaping, benches, a shade structure and a plaza area. In addition to this expanded Riverfront Park, we are looking into options for permanent restrooms on the Riverfront. When completed, we will have a riverfront suitable for all of our events.
Rollin' on the River was a HUGE SUCCESS!
A few years ago, this community constructed a riverfront stage. This year, we seriously broke in that stage by holding our inaugural Rollin' on the River Friday night concert series. Each Friday night from June through August, the City and Positively Allegan hosted a community party that featured live music, drinks, some food, and an all around good time. The City and Positively Allegan are already planning for next year, which will include a later start time, more regular food options, and with the splash pad open next summer, the Riverfront will be the place to be on Friday nights next summer.
When considering all of our events on the Riverfront this year, we have had live music on 21 separate nights.
Neighborhood Improvement Projects Update
The City has hired Jones Henry Engineering to design and oversee construction projects to improve the water lines, sewer lines and roads in the following areas next year:
1. The area between Delano Street and Western Avenue and Sherman Street and Davis Street.
2. The area consisting of Riverside Drive, Highland Avenue, Wolcott Street and Riverview Park.
3. The area consisting of the roads of Kalamazoo, 5th Street and Division just west of Marshall Street.
Over the next week or so, residents in these neighborhoods will receive an invitation to attend a public meeting to give input in the design and ask questions regarding these construction projects.
City of Allegan Parks and Recreation Master Plan Update
Every five years the City of Allegan has to update its Parks and Recreation Master Plan. Our current plan runs through 2018 and we are working with the City's Public Space Commission and Wightman and Associates to update our current plan. As a part of that plan, we are asking residents to complete the following survey (http://www.cityofallegan.org/news_detail_T12_R6.php).
Allegan City Police Department working with Local Schools
Fall usually means one thing and that is the return of school. As the kids, parents, and teachers are adjusting to the new schedules that come with the new school year, our local police department continued with their commitment of working with Allegan Public Schools and the Allegan Area Educational Services Association in offering training and site assessments to ensure that all have a safe and successful school year.
City watermain being extended along M-89
In coordination with Allegan Township and the U.S. Dept. EPA a new city watermain will be extended along M-89 to the south to provide safe drinking water to area residents whose wells tested positive for chromium. This is good example of the township and the city working together for the betterment of our residents.
There are many more activities and projects going on in the City, and as stated above, if there is something you want to know about the City of Allegan, just give us a call at City Hall (269.673.5511).
Thanks, and have a great start to Fall.