By Janae Fear, staff writer
The Owosso Downtown Development Authority/Main Street held a discussion only meeting, due to quorum not being met, on Wednesday, Jan. 6, at City Hall. Present at the meeting were Chairman Dave Acton, members Kevin Wiles, Lance Omer and Mayor Ben Frederick along with Owosso Main Street Manager Josh Adams, Assistant City Manager/Community Development Director Susan Montenegro and Theresa Trecha of Capitol Bowl, who is expected to be appointed to the authority by Frederick at the Jan. 19 City Council meeting. Members absent were Ken Cushman, Shar Haskins and Bill Gilbert.
Items discussed included the success of the Ugly Christmas Sweater day held in conjunction with Stretch’s Ugly Christmas Sweater 5K run/walk. Josh Adams, Owosso Main Street Manager, noted that around 400 race participants and family members attended the event and that many downtown businesses reported record sales days. The next event will be the Chocolate Walk that is in February with the date to be announced soon.
Susan Montenegro, Owosso assistant city manager/Community Development manager, provided an update on the Façade Grant process stating that 19 businesses expressed interest and the MEDC representative has narrowed the field down to 13 projects that will be up for consideration. The OMS Design committee will meet on Jan. 19 to review the applications and will select three businesses to receive free design services as part of the grant.
Also of note were recommended changes to downtown parking lots. The suggestion was made to convert the two remaining two-hour lots, the Main Street Plaza lot next to Gilbert’s and the lot across from the Lebowsky Center, into four-hour lots to gain some consistency and to make it easier for downtown customers. Kevin Lenkart, director of Public Safety, was present for the discussion and stated that this change would not only benefit the businesses and their customers but would also ease enforcement of the parking code. This change will require an adjustment to the traffic ordinance and will be added to the consent agenda for the Jan. 19 City Council meeting. The next OMS/DDA meeting will be 7:30 a.m. Feb. 3 in Owosso City Council Chambers on the lower level of City Hall.