City of Allegan planning to revitalize downtown
Updated: Wednesday, April 3 2013, 07:20 PM EDT
ALLEGAN, Mich. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - Plans are taking shape at this hour to upgrade the Allegan riverfront.
The city is looking to revitalize the areas between Hubbard and State Streets, and the bridge along Marshall, near the city's downtown.
The city of Allegan has planned some big changes to its historic riverfront, as they say some upgrades are necessary to draw in more people downtown.
While the project is a sure thing, the changes aren't set, as they're turning to the community itself for input.
Fred Banks, and his dog Lloyd, walk the riverfront almost every day, but the two are hoping some upgrades will draw in more foot traffic.
"It's hard to get people down here," Banks said. "There's not a lot going on and we are trying to make it a little better."
City leaders say the Kalamazoo River area was last updated in the mid-80s and is in need of improvements.
Now, they're tapping into grant money and the help of Michigan State University update the area, hoping to complete the development in the next 3 to 5 years.
"Our intentions are not only to improve the settings--to create things like a splash pad and kayaking, but also to improve the economy," said City Manager Rob Hillard.
The biggest voice has been the community, as people have come out by the hundreds to weigh in.
Long-time residents say they're looking forward to sharing Allegan with others.
The City of Allegan is still asking for help on the project, and they're holding a meeting next Thursday downtown seeking public opinion.
It will be held on Thursday evening, April 11th at 7:00 p.m. in the basement of the Griswold Auditorium.