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Downtown Development Authority Board discusses possible projects

Repaving of the Park Street parking lot and enhancements to the alleyways from the municipal parking lots to the downtown area were among the possible priority projects the Chelsea Downtown Development Authority (DDA) board discussed at its Feb. 18 meeting.

The discussion was held in advance of DDA budget planning for the FY 2021-22, which is expected to begin next month.

Board Chairman Tim Merkel provided photos of cracked pavement in the municipal lot between Park and Middle streets and of the current state of several alleyways — as a visual presentation to the board as members discussed prioritizing projects that will improve the overall experience for folks as they visit the downtown shopping and dining areas.

Also discussed was the ongoing project to continue the cosmetic painting improvements of the downtown light poles, reskinning of the wayfaring signs and continued efforts to convert all the lights to LED bulbs.

Also underway are plans to install two EV charging stations downtown – one in Palmer Commons and the second in the Park Street parking lot.

These are all projects that are part of the DDA’s current Strategic Plan.

The board asked that city staff provide them with available funding through the end of this fiscal year and what is expected to be available in the next budget year to continue the planning process.

Community Development Director Julia Upfal reported to board members that the Chelsea City Council had approved an extension to the permitting process for outdoor seating that will assist the city’s restaurants to provide space for outdoor dining. She also updated the board on the city’s award of a $46,000 Kaboom grant, which will be used to incorporate parklets into the downtown for outdoor dining and interactive recreation opportunities.

Part of the grant requirements is the formation of a steering committee that will plan and design the parklets. The committee is expected to be made up of a member from the City Council, the DDA, Planning Commission, Parks Commission and Chelsea Chamber of Commerce and applications are available in the city website. Upfal is asking for one member from each group to be involved in the planning process.

As part of his announcements from the Chelsea Area Chamber of Commerce, Executive Director Terris Ahrens reminded folks that anyone can nominate a small, large or non-profit business for the Chamber of Commerce annual awards.

To nominate a Chamber of Commerce member click the following link:

The nomination deadline is Wednesday, March 3.

If you have questions you can reach the chamber office at (734) 475-1145.


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