OWOSSO MAIN STREET/DDA is working toward streetscape improvements starting with the flowerbeds on Exchange Street in downtown Owosso.

   According to Josh Adams of Owosso Main Street/DDA, the caps of these flowerbeds are soft, easily damaged and very expensive to replace. A number of the trees have died, as well. A subcommittee of Owosso Main Street/DDA has proposed strategies for streetscape improvements regarding these flowerbeds and in other areas along Exchange and Washington streets.

(Independent Photo/Karen Mead-Elford)

  Owosso Mayor Chris Eveleth requested a moment of silence for longtime city employee Bill Brooks during the Owosso City Council meeting Monday, April 19. Brooks passed away from cancer on Wednesday, April 14, leaving behind a wife and adult daughter. Brooks was an arborist with the city of Owosso, with a passion for gardening. He was a well-respected and well-liked city employee.

   Council members met in-person at city hall Monday evening, voting unanimously on the consent agenda, which contained a number of items related to upcoming events. As is standard in meetings, consent agenda items are approved without discussion.

   Traffic control orders were approved for the upcoming Friends of the Shiawassee River (FOSR) Shi-Tri triathlon, an outdoor cabaret event for the Lebowsky Center of Performing Arts and the Mid-Michigan Custom Car Show.

   The Friends of the Shiawassee River Shi-Tri triathlon is planned for Saturday, May 22 from noon until 6 p.m. The approval of the traffic control orders will allow FOSR to use the lot behind NCG Cinemas in downtown Owosso. FOSR and the Fitness Coliseum have come together to organize the first ever Shi-Tri event. FOSR Executive Director Lorraine Austin recently shared the group could still use volunteers. Interested persons should call (989) 723-9062 for more information.

   The Lebowsky Center for Performing Arts received approval on a request to use S. Park Street from Main Street to Comstock Street on Thursday, July 22 through Sunday, July 25 for an outdoor cabaret event.

   Organizer Andy Genovese also received approval from the city on the Mid-Michigan Custom Car Show to use the Comstock Parking Lot area on Sunday, June 13 from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Registration for the car show will be 9 a.m. to noon.

   Also on the consent agenda was a contract regarding architectural services from H2A Architects toward renovating the old Grove Holman Pool building. The project is being funded by a Department of Natural Resources Recreation Passport grant and city of Owosso Parks millage funds. City staff had reached out to four architectural firms during the process. H2A Architects offered a quote of $12,500. According to a memorandum, staff recommended H2A “based on the quality and detail of their proposal, past experience and willingness to assist the city in the bidding process.”

   H2A Architects had responded to the city expressing gratitude for being considered and explaining the project scope. “The overall scope of the project is understood to be to develop a warming center and storage facility in the existing and abandoned pool building. The existing building had showers, restrooms and locker facilities. The renovation will be to create a warming area with restrooms and a snack bar.” Other details are offered in the letter and all communications are available to the public on the city website at www.ci.owossso.mi.us.

   H2A Architects is out of Davison.

   The city also approved repair and replacement work on downtown Owosso flowerbeds. Owosso Main Street/DDA has been working toward streetscape improvements with plans to purchase additional trash containers, benches, new flower containers, sidewalk/brick repair work and flowerbed repair/replacements. Owosso Main Street/DDA recommended approving Sunburst Gardens of Owosso for the flowerbed work at up to $35,000 for repairs with funding coming from the Capital Projects Fund.

   According to Owosso Main Street/DDA Director Josh Adams, the flowerbed repair/replacements is the start of a streetscape improvement plan being introduced through an Owosso streetscape subcommittee of Owosso Main Street. The subcommittee is comprised of a number of Owosso DPW employees, business owners and residents who over a series of meetings have developed strategies to help the downtown streetscape to be more pedestrian and business-owner friendly – with less overall maintenance and man hours invested.

   Adams shared the flowerbed work will begin on Exchange Street, between Water and Ball streets. Flowerbed design changes and alterations will be made – lowering the gardens, making them more durable, with new trees planted. Longterm plans include work along Washington Street, hopefully replacing the garden beds along that route, with durable concrete flowerpots, more benches and trash receptacles. The large, concrete pots and benches will be mobile to accommodate downtown businesses and foot traffic.

   Adams believes the overall streetscape improvement project will likely take approximately two or three years, but is hopeful that Sunburst might be able to begin on the Exchange Street gardens in June. The project is a collaborative effort, so a timeline has not been formalized yet.

   The next regular council meeting is planned for Monday, May 3.

Owosso Approves Street Use for Upcoming Events During Meeting was last modified: April 27th, 2021 by Karen Elford