Gladstone DDA to get new home

GLADSTONE – The Gladstone Downtown Development Authority may soon have a permanent home thanks to action taken during Monday night’s city commission meeting.

During a DDA meeting held Wednesday, the authority approved the purchase of property at 911 Delta Ave., the former home of Front Row Video, to house a new downtown DDA information and event center. The agreement was brought before the commission to receive approval for the mayor, city manager and clerk to sign the legally required documents.

“This is pretty good news for the DDA. They’re pretty excited about this project. They want to make this the downtown center and they have a lot of plans for the building,” said Mayor Joseph Maki.

Cost of purchasing and fixing the building is expected to be approximately $100,000 of the DDA’s budget. Updates are expected to include a new roof, new furnace and work on the interior.

The new center is expected to be staffed by a city employee that will not only distribute information about the city at the site, but help to coordinate downtown events.

“Whoever we staff that with is also going to be like a special events coordinator. The more events we can have, either in the parking lot or inside… the better,” said City Manager Darla Falcon.

The building is adjacent to the parking lot, which was designated as the downtown farmer’s market location last summer. More updates are planned for the farmer’s market space including a raised stage, cosmetic changes, gardens, and improved vendor spaces. The upgrades are being funded through a $50,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

The commission also approved the purchase of an additional fan snow gun and a new $14,000 SMI Pole Cat snow gun for the ski hill. Money previously allocated for the creation of the ski hill reservoir was used, That project was later funded through a Hannahville Indian Community 2 percent grant.

The Pole Cat gun, in conjunction with the new reservoir system, is predicted to make snow production at the Gladstone Sports Park more efficient and produce higher quality snow than the fan guns currently operated by the city.