Observer 1/24/2014 : Page 1

Lakeshore Arts Alliance Moving Out Of Red Barn Theatre After Lease Terminated; New Home Sought Page 3 Weather Permitting, Restoration Of Mt. Balhead’s Trees Begins Feb. 1 To Deal With Spray Kill Page 3 Presorted Standard U.S. Postage Paid Saugatuck MI Permit No. 30 CURRENT RESIDENT THE LOCAL OBSERVER WE BRING YOU THE NEWS SERVING January 24, 2014 Vol. 12 No. 4 FREE SAUGATUCK * DOUGLAS * SAUGATUCK TOWNSHIP * LAKETOWN TOWNSHIP * FENNVILLE * GLENN * GANGES TOWNSHIP * HAMILTON * HOLLAND * SOUTH HAVEN Future Of Iconic Root Beer Barrel Rests With Douglas City Council Efrain Sandoval Correspondent The City of Douglas will soon have to decide what it wants to do with a historical and iconic land-mark in town: the Root Beer Barrel that served visitors hot dogs and pop from 1946 through the 1950s as they traveled to Oval Beach. At the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society members presented the Douglas City Council with an update and their expectations for a project that is ready to roll after having been worked on since 2010. That is the year the Historical Society purchased the then-dilapidated, yet historically pop-ular Root Beer Barrel and launched a years-long restoration project so it could once again be used. The society would like the city to take ownership of the 16-foot-tall wooden barrel, but the cost and procedures associated with that merits further study and a cautious and care-ful approach, say city officials. To that end, the council will hold a special meeting concern-ing the barrel on February 3 at 6 p.m. at Douglas City Hall. “We are envisioning the city as owner and placing it on city prop-erty, Beery Field, Schultz Park or any other place that will be the city coun-cil’s choice, or rent it out as a market-ing technique for businesses in the City of Douglas,” Douglas City Councilmember Eric Smith told the Observer Newspapers. Smith is also a member of the barrel committee working on the project. Right now the structure is in storage as 125 unassembled red-wood staves and there is a cost associ-ated with putting it together and erecting it. Smith said he roughly esti-mates the cost at $7,500. Then there is also the costs for yearly mainte-nance. Those are all factors that will influence what route the city will take. “Just as a personal opinion, it is my belief the majority of council is in favor of the city owning it as long as it doesn’t cost the city a lot of money,” said Smith. Those costs, however, could be offset by various means, including the “marketing technique for busi-nesses” that Smith mentioned. The idea is to lease the barrel to a private business while providing advertising space on a marker near the barrel. Smith said a number of businesses have already expressed interest and the barrel committee has prepared RFPs (request for proposals) ready to be issued when the city decides what it will do. Douglas Approves Proposal On Looking At Ways To Fund Harbor Restoration Efrain Sandoval Correspondent The first step in going after funding to improve the Kalamazoo Harbor comes in the form of a pro-posal by the St. Joseph-based engi-neering firm Edgewater Resources . That proposal had previ-ously been recommended by the local harbor authority and on Monday the City of Douglas approved it as well at this week’s city council meeting. “The issue of funding is squarely in front us,” Douglas City Manager William LeFevere told council before it approved Edgewater’s proposal, which is not to exceed $12,880. “Without funding, the work (the Kalamazoo Harbor Authority has done up to this point) will just sit there,” added LeFevere. The engineering company will be charged with identifying fund-ing strategies, including the creation of a Dredging Special Assessment District. The City of Saugatuck will be voting on a similar proposal very soon, authority officials say. More requests and propos-als are expected to come before the cities’ councils as the authority moves forward with the harbor improve-ment project. “The money raised (origi-nating) in Douglas will be spent in Douglas,” LeFevere told council regarding how the harbor authority expects each city to pay for its respec-tive dredging and all the related future harbor restoration work. City officials and many citi-zens say dredging the harbors is the most serious issue facing the area. In other City of Douglas news: The Douglas City Council Monday approved the reappoint-ments of William Schumacher and Michael Hurley to the Douglas Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Both of their terms on the DDA will end in January 2018.

Future Of Iconic Root Beer Barrel Rests With Douglas City Council

Efrain Sandoval

The City of Douglas will soon have to decide what it wants to do with a historical and iconic landmark in town: the Root Beer Barrel that served visitors hot dogs and pop from 1946 through the 1950s as they traveled to Oval Beach.<br /> <br /> At the Committee of the Whole Meeting on Monday, Saugatuck-Douglas Historical Society members presented the Douglas City Council with an update and their expectations for a project that is ready to roll after having been worked on since 2010.<br /> <br /> That is the year the Historical Society purchased the then-dilapidated, yet historically popular Root Beer Barrel and launched a years-long restoration project so it could once again be used.<br /> <br /> The society would like the city to take ownership of the 16-foottall wooden barrel, but the cost and procedures associated with that merits further study and a cautious and careful approach, say city officials.<br /> <br /> To that end, the council will hold a special meeting concerning the barrel on February 3 at 6 p.m. at Douglas City Hall.<br /> <br /> “We are envisioning the city as owner and placing it on city property, Beery Field, Schultz Park or any other place that will be the city council’s choice, or rent it out as a marketing technique for businesses in the City of Douglas,” Douglas City Councilmember Eric Smith told the Observer Newspapers.<br /> <br /> Smith is also a member of the barrel committee working on the project.<br /> <br /> Right now the structure is in storage as 125 unassembled redwood staves and there is a cost associated with putting it together and erecting it.<br /> <br /> Smith said he roughly estimates the cost at $7,500. Then there is also the costs for yearly maintenance.<br /> <br /> Those are all factors that will influence what route the city will take.<br /> <br /> “Just as a personal opinion, it is my belief the majority of council is in favor of the city owning it as long as it doesn’t cost the city a lot of money,” said Smith.<br /> <br /> Those costs, however, could be offset by various means, including the “marketing technique for businesses” that Smith mentioned. The idea is to lease the barrel to a private business while providing advertising space on a marker near the barrel.<br /> <br /> Smith said a number of businesses have already expressed interest and the barrel committee has prepared RFPs (request for proposals) ready to be issued when the city decides what it will do.

Douglas Approves Proposal On Looking At Ways To Fund Harbor Restoration

Efrain Sandoval

The first step in going after funding to improve the Kalamazoo Harbor comes in the form of a proposal by the St. Joseph-based engineering firm Edgewater Resources .<br /> <br /> That proposal had previously been recommended by the local harbor authority and on Monday the City of Douglas approved it as well at this week’s city council meeting.<br /> <br /> “The issue of funding is squarely in front us,” Douglas City Manager William LeFevere told council before it approved Edgewater’s proposal, which is not to exceed $12,880.<br /> <br /> “Without funding, the work (the Kalamazoo Harbor Authority has done up to this point) will just sit there,” added LeFevere.<br /> <br /> The engineering company will be charged with identifying funding strategies, including the creation of a Dredging Special Assessment District.<br /> <br /> The City of Saugatuck will be voting on a similar proposal very soon, authority officials say.<br /> <br /> More requests and proposals are expected to come before the cities’ councils as the authority moves forward with the harbor improvement project.<br /> <br /> “The money raised (originating) in Douglas will be spent in Douglas,” LeFevere told council regarding how the harbor authority expects each city to pay for its respective dredging and all the related future harbor restoration work.<br /> <br /> City officials and many citizens say dredging the harbors is the most serious issue facing the area.<br /> <br /> In other City of Douglas news: <br /> <br /> The Douglas City Council Monday approved the reappointments of William Schumacher and Michael Hurley to the Douglas Downtown Development Authority (DDA).<br /> <br /> Both of their terms on the DDA will end in January 2018.

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