Bay City could remove Friendship Shell from riverfront - WNEM TV 5

Bay City could remove Friendship Shell from riverfront

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)

A Mid-Michigan city could be losing a staple of its riverfront.

Plans are in the works for a new downtown park in Bay City, but those plans don't include keeping the Friendship Shell.

The staple has stood in Bay City since 1983, but its future is up in the air as new plans for the park do not include keeping it.

"There are plenty of other areas that they could do something to change. They should leave a landmark there," Richard Kaiser said.

He and his wife Sandy like to visit Wenonah Park in Bay City to walk around and take pictures. They were not happy to learn the well-known statue could be taken down.

"It has always been here as long as I can remember and I just assume that it stays," Richard Kaiser said.

City Manager Rick Finn said the city and the Downtown Development Authority are in the incubation stages of planning for a $700,000 makeover.

Several ideas have been discussed and some of them include removing the iconic statue. However, Finn said nothing is set in stone.

A lot of residents don't want to see the fountain disappear.

"It is a nice part of Bay City. I think it gives people a nice picture moment for people to remember," said Gloria Mormeneo.

Officials with the DDA said they are looking at ways to get people to come and stay. They are encouraging residents to come to the next planning forum to let them know what they want to see.

The Kaisers said they would miss the Friendship Shell and are thinking of ideas for the park.

"It's awesome. We love having picnics out here and we were just talking about them getting one of those boats, a paddle wheel. A paddle wheel would be really cool," Sandy Kaiser said.

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