Allegan County News & Union Enterprise

City Council Meeting – 1/24/22

January 24, 2022
Leslie Ballard

The January 24 City Council held a lengthy Study Session prior to its meeting that included discussion
items on the Hubbard Street realignment, improved communications strategies and the future of 211 ½

Proposed Roundabout

MDOT engineers provided the Council with updated conceptual design drawings for a roundabout that
would replace the light at the intersection 40 and 89. This update responded to recent feedback from
the council about potential issues they had regarding pedestrian safety, design and cost. Thomas Sabin,
a Projects & Contracts Engineer with MDOT, reported that the state believes that that this intersection
“is such a strong candidate for this project, the state has sought additional funding,” which will lower
the city’s share to approximately $780,000. The roundabout would be incorporated into the 2024 M89
resurfacing project. The Council will vote on a resolution to adopt the MDOT proposal at their February
14 meeting.

City Communication

As a result of the Council’s strategic planning meeting on January 15, City Manager Joel Dye has begun
working on ways to improve the city’s communication with its residents. Three ways that city hopes to
address that is through a newsletter, an SMS system that would send text messages, and a pop up tent
that could be used at city events and where council members could be available to talk with residents
and visitors.

211 ½ Trowbridge

The Council entered into what several members described as a very difficult discussion about the future
of 211 ½ Trowbridge. With Small Town Amusements, the city opened the arcade 2019 in that rehabbed
space, hoping the Regent Arcade would draw more people to downtown and to attend the theater.
Since 2020, Matt Adams of Small Town Amusements, has been running the arcade on Friday and
Saturdays form 5 – 10 with the help of volunteers. Recently, the city was approached by the owners of
Hoard of the Dragon Hobbies and Games about leasing the space now occupied by the Regent Arcade.
The store “will provide the sales of tabletop board and card games, as well as other items related to the
tabletop hobby.”
In a letter to the Council, the owners stated, “We are confident that there is a market for this kind of
offering in the area, and because of the continued growth of Downtown Allegan, we want to open our
business there.” They also stated that they had looked at other property in Allegan, but 211 ½ was the
best fit for their needs. They propose to open in May 2022 and operate Tues- Sat. 1-8 pm. and would
also be available for private rentals. They have agreed for to pay $500 per month with a one-year lease.

Currently the space provides no revenue to the city. While the council expressed great admiration for
Matt and Deb Adams and their commitment and contribution to Allegan, the prospect of lessening the
annual deficit for the Regent Theater makes financial sense. Several council members described the
Adams as “gems” and “a huge asset to the community.”
After a six-minute break, the Council reconvened for the meeting.
Community Action Agency of Allegan County (CAA) requested a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
with the City to allow CAA to provide direct payment assistance for household water utility accounts in
arrears or disconnect status with the City. This program is officially called the Low-Income Household
Water Assistance Program.
The result of this MOU is low-income households who are behind on their payments for their water
utility can apply to the CAA for direct payment assistance to the city. The City will not shut off water
until 90 days have passed with no payment. This MOU will last until September 30, 2023. The Council
unanimously approved the MOU.
The Council also unanimously approved the Downtown Allegan Events for 2022 put together by
Positively Allegan. Events and dates are as follows:
 Rollin’ on the River (Fridays, June 10 – August 26)
 Bridgefest (Saturday, June 11)
 Fork in the Road: A Food Truck Rally (Mondays, June 13 – August 29)
 July 3 Jubilee (Sunday, July 3)
 Sidewalk Sales (Thursday July 28, Friday July 29, Saturday July 30)
 Small Business Saturday (Saturday, November 26)
 Festive Fridays (Fridays, December 2, 9, 16)
 NYE!23 (Saturday, December 31)
The Council unanimously approved accounts payable in the amount of $377,166.08 and payroll in the
amount of $106, 741.35 for a total disbursement of $483,907.43. The Council also unanimously
authorized the first and second quarter budget adjustments.
Cub Scout Pack 3026 request a reduced rate for the banquet room at Griswold Auditorium on Sunday,
February 20, 2022 from 12:00-5:00 pm for the crossover ceremony where the Arrow of Light cub scouts
will become members of Scouts BSA. The Council agreed to lower the fee to $100 for this event.
Tom Slocum was appointed to the Planning Commission for a term that expires December 31, 2025.
Prior to adjourning, council members and Dye discussed complaints about the lack of snow removal on
Sunday. In the end it was determined that the city would do a better job of clearing roads, especially on
the weekends and in the downtown area.

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