By Leslie Ballard
The July 11 Allegan City Council Study Session lasted longer than anticipated while the regular meeting was brief.
The City Council held a public hearing regarding establishing an Industrial Development District (IDD) for Tantrick Brewing Company at 138 Water St. In 2020 Tantrick established an IDD at their 134 Water St building. Having recently purchased the neighboring building, Tantrick would like to establish an IDD there to expand their business. After questioning Tantrick co-owner Patrick Westover and Greg King from Lakeshore Advantage, the Council opened the hearing. No one spoke, and the ordinance was unanimously passed.
Allegan Speak Up! requested permission to use the Riverfront Plaza and Stage for a Pride event, Allegan Out Loud, on Saturday August 20th from 3 to 10 pm. Allegan Speak Up! is a grass roots organization operated by Allegan City residents aimed at fighting for social justice and equality for all. The event will include a peaceful march through the city, food trucks, games and other activities, music, drag queens, and educational speakers.
According to Eddie Quinones-Walker of Allegan Speak Up!, this event will be family-oriented and appropriate for all. The goal is to give the members of the LGBTQIA+ community within Allegan a safe space to celebrate diversity and living authentically while also showing the surrounding areas that Allegan is a safe place for these individuals to live and work.
After discussion among council and hearing from Leah Ward that this event would not present a conflict with the scheduled gazebo concert, the Council voted 4-3 to allow Allegan Speak Up! to hold their event with members Teresa Galloway, Peter Hanse and Bill Morgan voting against.
The Council approved accounts payable in the amount of $781,798.40 and payroll in the amount of $111,925.80 for a total disbursement of $893,724.20.
The Council approved the plat amendment to combine three lots on Jackson Street. One lot has a dwelling while the other two are vacant.
They also approved the 2023 Lakeshore Advantage Contract in the amount of $6,250. The City of Allegan, along with Allegan County and several other townships in the county, has partnered with Lakeshore Advantage to provide economic development services in our communities. They have been a resource and supporter of local businesses and serve as a resource to city staff when looking at economic issues, meeting with existing businesses as well as site selection opportunities for new growth.
The Council approved the purchase order for 6 sets of Audio-Technica ATW-1311/L Dual Lavalier Wireless System for a total of $5,994.00 to be split with the Allegan Community Players for a total cost to the City of Allegan of $2,997.00. City Manager Joel Dye believes “it would be useful to have wireless lavalier systems to use for speakers, talks, and play/musical productions.”
The Council reviewed and approved the list of items from City Hall, Griswold Auditorium, and the Regent Theatre to be sold as surplus during the upcoming Downtown Allegan Sidewalk Sales on July 28, 29, and 30. Among the items for sale are unused office supplies, office décor, office furniture, craft supplies, speakers, projector, chest freezer, and a safe.
Alyssa Ramirez was unanimously appointed to the Planning Commission.
Most of this session was devoted to a discussion of the evaluation process for Dye. The council agreed to use a 360 approach completed by Sept. 1.
During public comment Dye read a letter sent to Councilman Bill Morgan from Colleen London, expressing her dissatisfaction with participation in the parade of a group proclaiming “My Body, My Choice.”
Rev. Kathy Nealand of First Presbyterian Church, who is moving to a new church, thanked the Council for their openness and their willingness to listen to community members.
The Round Table discussion among the Council members included four topics. Mayor Delora Andrus asked about the stringers for the 2nd St. Bridge, and Dye responded that they anticipate that work to be completed in early August.
Dave Redding asked about the Trestle Bridge and the Allegan Dam. Dye responded that the staff is getting high level estimates for a prefab clearspan structure. One estimate was $550,000 not including removal of the current structure. Milbocker will also be providing an estimate. Dye reported that conversations have begun with DNR regarding funding for replacement of the bridge.
Dye also reported that Abonmarche will conduct an inspection of the dam property later this week.
Mayor Andrus asked about the July 3 Jubilee. Dye reported that it may have drawn the largest crowd than the City has seen for that event and that one food vendor reported over a 60% increase in sales this year over last.