THE BACKDROP for the Shiawassee Chamber of Commerce Networking at Noon event was Durand Union Station and highlighted an informative discussion from five main leaders in Shiawassee County. They are shown here sharing with guests their areas of expertise. (Independent Photo/Elizabeth Wehman)
by Elizabeth Wehman, editor
A Christmas background highlighted the Networking at Noon luncheon held by the Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce at the Durand Union Station on Tuesday, Nov. 29. The luncheon was catered by Union Station Smokehouse.
A guest panel for the afternoon’s conversation was Durand Mayor Deb Doyle, Perry Mayor James Huguelet, Corunna City Manager Joe Sawyer, Randy Woodworth of Woodworth Commercial, and Shiawassee Regional Chamber of Commerce President Jeff Deason. After introducing themselves, business owners had the opportunity to listen to updates on each of their agendas as well as ask questions regarding upcoming happenings in Shiawassee County.
“We are excited and happy with the great turnout here in Durand,” announced Mayor Doyle. Doyle then told about the Christmas events held at the depot during the holiday season and invited those in attendance to plan to attend one of them. She also added some of the happenings in Durand including the updates to the city’s infrastructure and repaving of many of the roads.
Deason said he loves to tell the story of Shiawassee County to others. He announced that the submitting of paperwork regarding the updates to the Owosso Armory has finished. “We are excited to take the next step,” he added. “There is a potential closing date just before Christmas on Dec. 22.” He also told the luncheon participants of the new plant coming into Owosso housing the company, Cargill. “They will be making specialized feed for animals,” with a ground breaking to happen on Friday, Dec. 9, “they should be up and running in a year,” he announced.
Woodworth added to Deason’s comments that leasing at the Armory has begun and also other news regarding downtown Owosso’s Matthew’s Building. He also announced that the new facade to the strip mall on M-52 has been completed and currently houses businesses including D’Mar’s Banquet and Conference Center.
Sawyer announced many of the projects underway in Corunna including the update on the historic Shiawassee Street School. He referred to Durand’s Sycamore House as the model this building will follow. He told chamber guests how important it was to keep the historical portion of the buildings which is required from the many grants and tax credits given to the city to fund the project. He also stressed the fact that many of the changes and updates couldn’t happen unless there was public and taxpayer support from Shiawassee County voters. “Without that, we couldn’t do what we do,” he added. Sawyer also ranked Corunna number one in having the best streets in the county, even though the city hadn’t had to pass a millage in 20 years.
Huegelet emphasized the great leadership the county has in the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, “They are excellent at bringing people in the county to see what’s available.”
Woodworth also said that an online GIS, which is online mapping, needed to be added to the county’s offers to those outside of the community. “We need to offer this to outsiders so they can formulate a plan to bring businesses into the area from their own desks,” he added, “This will make it easier for development to come to the county.” He also said, “The leadership in Shiawassee County is pro-active, as you can see from this panel discussion. Businesses will be able to move forward in the county because of that. I love doing deals here.”