Midland leaders to vote on new downtown project - WNEM TV 5

Midland leaders to vote on new downtown project

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A Mid-Michigan city is planning a major redesign of its downtown area, but not everyone is jumping for joy over the remodel plan.

The Midland Downtown Development Authority is proposing a multi-million dollar overhaul of downtown with the goal of giving it a fresh, new look.

"Most people in town think I'm against it, but I'm actually for it," said Eric Anders, Midland resident.

He likes the idea of a new streetscape. He said local leaders have made plans for a new look along Main Street, but Anders said the input from city residents is missing from those plans.

"I think the public has been pushed outside the bounds of the decision making in this. If you travel throughout Midland and you ask most people what is a streetscape and what is being planned for downtown Midland, they don't know anything about it," Anders said.

However, a spokesperson with the city said there has been plenty of opportunities for the public to voice their opinions on the streetscape.

"We've had a lot of great public input on this project. Beginning in June through the end of August we had more than 800 points of contact with the community. We had three public open houses," said Selina Tisdale, community affairs director for Midland.

She said residents have been involved in the streetscape project since day one.

"We started with brainstorming. Tell us what you want out of a new design for downtown Midland. We took that to the drawing board and brought back several different renditions of what we heard from the community," Tisdale said.

As for Anders, he said he looks forward to seeing the new streetscape. However, he believes residents should be given more time to have their say in what the new project should look like.

City leaders plan to vote on the streetscape project during their council meeting on Oct. 24.

"I think this vote needs to be delayed. We've gone 20 plus years, 30 years in some parts of city without a streetscape update. It's not going to hurt anything to delay the vote another year," Anders said.

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