(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

 

    A dilapidated skywalk located on the south end of a building on the corner of Exchange and Ball streets in downtown Owosso became a point of discussion during the Owosso City Council meeting at city hall on Monday, Oct. 17. The skywalk is positioned across an alley connected to Ball Street and decades ago was used to link a long gone mixed-retail store on the south side of the alley to the former Owosso City Club in the Exchange Street building. Just beyond the alley corridor is a small parking area previously utilized by nearby tenants, though in recent months, the area was cut off due to a court demolition order of the skywalk.

   The skywalk has been mentioned in a number of city-connected meetings in prior months, possibly beginning with a discussion between Downtown Historic District Commission members on Wednesday, Dec. 15, 2021. Then Commissioner Dianne Acton recused herself from the discussion since she and her husband, Dave, jointly own the building with the skywalk. It was noted at the time that the skywalk item had been through a board of appeals process in 2012, though under different owners. Ultimately, the item was tabled until the start of 2022 to allow the owners time to decide whether to demolish or preserve the skywalk.

   Jumping forward to the Oct. 17 city council meeting, Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne offered an update on the skywalk status, indicating that the city has grown impatient with the situation, wanting the skywalk demolished following the court order. Henne shared that after the court order, the city had been informed by the owner(s) that an agreement for demolition had been reached with a contractor, but delays followed as the contractor had other projects ahead of the skywalk – and contractors are in short supply currently. Area residents have grown frustrated with the situation, along with the city and Consumers Energy, which is connected to the project. Henne explained the city had decided to allow two more weeks before taking action to accept bids for the work. Council members directed Henne to start taking bids immediately instead of waiting two more weeks. 

   Via an email on Wednesday, Oct. 19, Henne confirmed that a demolition crew will be on site Monday, Oct. 24.

   The next council meeting is set for Monday, Nov. 7.

Condemned Skywalk Point of Owosso Council Discussion was last modified: October 25th, 2022 by Karen Elford