May 2018 – City Manager’s Corner

Greetings from your City Manager

In the coming weeks, the city will begin work on the establishment of a historic district. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, in conjunction with their parent organization, the Department of Talent and Economic Development, has secured $45,000 through their Project Empire Initiative to get us on the right track.

I’ve also created the Special Committee on Cultural & Historical Preservation. This group will assist in determining the boundaries of the historic district, hold public meetings to gain insight and feedback from the community, work closely with downtown businesses and property owners, and assist in preparing a strategic plan for the historic district.

We’ve enlisted the help of Jessica Flores of Preservation Forward. She is a historic preservation professional who specializes in the rehabilitation of an historically built environment.

One of our main goals is to have the downtown area listed on the National Register of Historic Places, and she will be helping to facilitate this initiative on behalf of the city.

The vision of focusing on our future by preserving our past is long overdue. I hope you will both support this initiative and participate in the process. I look forward to engaging our community during this exciting venture.

Now, I’d like to take some time and talk about streets. In this edition, we’ve provided an overview of the major street and maintenance projects on deck for the coming season. I want to give you as much data as I can, so I’m also including some general information about street projects. This should give you an idea of the process of constructing a street, the cost of construction, how, when and why we choose certain projects, and lastly, how you can have a voice in this process.

In a perfect world, we’d be able to fix every single street quickly and permanently at virtually no cost. Unfortunately, this is not our reality. Street maintenance is always going to be an ongoing task, but I want to assure you that the City is working diligently to find the most responsible and equitable methods available.

We will have at least one meeting before each major project this construction season. The primary objective of these gatherings is to assist those who may be directly affected by any construction and to provide a detailed overview of each project. Residents who live on streets where work is taking place will receive a letter with information about the meetings. The public is also welcome, and we will provide dates and times over many different mediums.

Please join us on Facebook for quick notices, and feel free to peruse our website for additional postings or information.

—Nate Heffron