Historic preservation, new park and aviation day planned for Boyne City
City officials gathered Tuesday to discuss the past and pending projects of the various committees, commissions and boards in Boyne City. Pictured at front is Main Street manager Hugh Conklin. (AEBRA COE/NEWS-REVIEW / December 5, 2012)
There were representatives from the schools, Main Street, city commission, planning commission, parks and recreation, zoning board of appeals, economic development, airport, housing commission and Team Boyne, among others.
It's "one stop shopping for information," said Mayor Ron Grunch of the meeting that happens several times a year. "It keeps everybody on the same page of what's happening in the community."
This is the 10th year of the Boyne City Main Street program, said Main Street manager Hugh Conklin.
He reported positive news that the Park Street reconstruction is finished, the farmers market has been a success this winter so far and the second Boyne Thunder boating event they sponsored had doubled in size.
Conklin also revealed that the program is still waiting hear back on whether an area of downtown will be placed on the National Register of Historic Places and has not made much "solid progress" on restoring the Dilworth, an empty historic building downtown.
Main Street has nine months to explore its options on whether to accept the donation of a historic theater in the arts district from the owners of The Thirsty Goat, said Conklin. They are in a "due diligence" phase right now, he said.
A steering committee on the project has been created and that committee went on a theater tour to see similar theaters in surrounding towns. "There are some great examples to follow. We have a lot of enthusiasm," said Conklin.
He heard from the places they visited that a theater "has such a tremendous positive impact on your community," said city manager Michael Cain, who went on the tour, but from a business standpoint, will likely break even.
Main Street received a gift allowing it to do an environmental assessment of the historic theater.
"There was nothing alarming in it," said Conklin. But, there was much junk left behind from the previous owners, so volunteers have been helping clear the junk away from the theater.
To make additional progress in planning to reinvigorate the downtown area and restore historic structures, the city plans to bring Robert Gibbs, the urban planner behind Gibbs Planning Group, to Boyne City to work with them on redevelopment efforts, including redevelopment and renewal of historic structures. They are planning on contracting his services for a training session for city officials and business leaders in Boyne City.
Parks and Recreation
In the last six months, the Parks and Recreation Commission has "covered a lot of territory," said chair Marie Sheets.
They are starting work this winter to add trail signs at Avalanche Preserve Recreation Area, she said. They are installing the signs to make the trails easier to navigate and they will be in a style that is "in harmony with other signs in Boyne," said Sheets.
The commission is also looking into creating a pet park in an area near Avalanche.
"We have the place picked out, we just have to work out a few details," she said.
A few of the commission members spoke with officials from Traverse City about a pet park installed there recently and heard good things.