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Changing times for downtown Coldwater organizations


COLDWATER, MI (WTVB) - Things are changing in Coldwater for the Downtown Development Authority and the Downtown Business Association.  Both organizations are without full time directors.  DBA Co-coordinator Lisa Avisa announced last week that she has taken a full time position with a local business and the DDA’s Christine Bowman resigned early this year.  The DDA at their monthly meeting Wednesday heard a presentation from City Manager Jeff Budd outlining a proposal that would have the City, DDA and DBA working together as a team to accomplish the goals of filling vacant buildings and bringing more people into the city through festivals and events. 

To that end, the DDA approved a proposal to give the DBA ten thousand dollars to help defray the cost of the events including Icefest, Entertainment Under the Stars, the Alamo Car Cruise and Christmas events, activities that traditionally cost more than they bring in. There was a consensus that ultimately there should be something happening every weekend downtown.

In other action, the board heard a report from an engineering firm on the four downtown parking lots.  The first option was to repair current potholes and repave the lots with one and a half inches of asphalt at a cost of $392,000. 

Option two would give minimal improvements for critical areas at a cost of 1.4 million dollars and option three would include reconstruction of the lots at a cost of 2.4 million dollars.  The engineer stresses that options one and two, while less expensive, have significantly higher maintenance costs going out 20 and 40 years. The lots were constructed in 1970 and repaved in 1993 and built in 1970.  There are also sewer and electrical problems in all of the lots.  No final decisions were made yesterday with further information to be collected.  The Coldwater City Council has the final word before any plans are implemented.