By Leslie Ballard
The City Council adopted a resolution at their Dec. 12 meeting, approving an amended plan to develop a hotel at 101 Brady Street.
At the last Council meeting, 102 Brady, LLC presented a new plan for a four story, 55 room hotel. Their presentation stated that the best option may be to partner with Cobblestone Hotel and Suites and construct a hotel consistent with their Upscale Mainstreet Hotel Plan, which is a design suited for downtowns such as Allegan. A representative from 102 Brady, LLC stated that while no date for a groundbreaking has been set, construction should be finished by the end of 2024.
After much discussion, the Council tabled a due diligence agreement with Old Mill Properties, LLC regarding the Powerhouse in the Mill District.
At their last meeting, the Council received a request from Joe and Deb Leverence to enter a six-month period of exclusivity to evaluate the potential purchase and redevelopment of the city-owned Powerhouse and associated property located in an area of the city commonly known as the Mill District.
During the Study Session Public Comments, John Burnett and Michael Van Bruggen, owners of BVB Process Automation & Controls, Inc. at 100 Water St., expressed their concerns about that “associated property” enabling them to retain the easement that allows access to their parking lot.
Depending on the outcome of their investigation, the Leverences hope to get right of first refusal to the Powerhouse and the adjacent property. Part of that adjacent property could affect BVB. “It’s a surveying issue,” Burnett said, that “could do harm to our business.”
Several council members had questions about different sections of the agreement. Dave Redding broached several issues that he found troublesome, such as the previous agreement to demolish the Powerhouse among others, and other council members took issue with the right of first refusal. However, as Joe Leverence stated, after putting in a “substantial amount of money” to determine whether the site can be redeveloped, “it doesn’t seem fair” not to have that right.
The Council will take up the matter at the next Study Session after Dye confers with the city attorney and others.
City Manager Joel Dye announced that with the assistance of Abonmarche, the City of Allegan has been awarded two grants. One from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources will provide $112,000 for work on Rossman Park. The Michigan Economic Development Council awarded a $25,000 Match on Main Street grant for Heronmark to help open the tasting room at 132 Hubbard St.
The Council approved a rate increase for the City of Allegan’s election inspectors and chairpersons from $10 an hour to $14 an hour for election inspectors and $16 an hour for chairpersons in addition to setting election training compensation at $40 per training.
Councilman Mike Zeter summarized the recent Historic District Commission meeting, stating that the HDC was disappointed not to have heard from the Council in response to the recommendations in its November report to the Council. Dye recommended that the Council discuss how they want to proceed with the report, which will be on the Study Session agenda for December 27.
The Council approved accounts payable in the amount of $181,318.01 and payroll in the amount of $161,714.65 for a total disbursement of $343,032.66.
They then adopted resolution 22.48 regarding 1st quarter budget adjustments. As of September 2022, the City of Allegan’s fund balance is $3,218,170 which represents 50% of the actual total General Fund (101) and Grants Fund (225) expenditures and transfers out for fiscal year 2022/23.
The Council also approved the proposal from Abonmarche Engineering regarding the Riverfront boardwalk engineering in an amount not to exceed $12,000.00.
Council members reviewed and approved the meeting schedule for the 2023 Calendar Year. The schedule is available at www.cityofallegan.org.
During the Study Session, Dye provided the Council with an overview of the fair housing laws. These laws affect the city since it receives HUD funds. Dye assured the Council that the city is being proactive in ensuring that it and the developers it works with are abiding by the Fair Housing Act and the Elliot Larsen Civil Rights Act.