DeWitt city council prepares for planning and expansions

The City of DeWitt held a city council meeting on Oct. 25 to discuss the upcoming Bridge Street extension as well as reviewing the planning services contract with Beckett & Raeder and review the assessing reports.  

A new project is in the planning stages for the construction of a new commercial building at 110 Bridge Street in downtown DeWitt, and the city council discussed extending the construction start from Dec. 17 to May 17, 2018.  

“The request for the extension is to make sure we don’t have to come back and do it again,” said Vesta Building Contractor Scott Schmidt.

Expanding modes of transportation in DeWitt Township

The City of Dewitt, Dewitt Township and the Clinton County Road Commission have come together to provide walking and biking paths throughout Dewitt Township. Dewitt Township is calling it the Non-Motorized Transportation Plan, which will be making walking and biking much more desired modes of transportation.  

“The township adopted a non-motorized transportation plan in 2013, so this is one of the projects that was identified on that plan,” said Rod Taylor, Dewitt Township manager.  We started working on it in a concentrated fashion in 2015.”

“The Non-Motorized Transportation Plan identified 60 different projects where we ranked those projects based upon a weighted system that looked at safety issues, connection with commercial areas, schools, and neighborhoods,” said Taylor.  “In addition, this project was a joint venture with the City of Dewitt as well as the Clinton County Road Commission.

DeWitt residents go all-out for Halloween

Trick-or-treating wasn’t the only Halloween activity on DeWitt’s to-do list for the holiday.  DeWitt takes Halloween to the next level by incorporating a weekend-long house decoration contest into the festivities. “It’s to really thank the people in the community for going all out and decorating at holiday time,” said Loretta Spinrad, from the DeWitt Area Chamber of Commerce.  “So, we have a contest to get other residents to go out and look at the decorations.  We award winners basically to say thank you.”

“Some of those houses that are decorated are phenomenal,” said Spinrad.  “Some of these people go all out, and it’s just unbelievable where are this stuff comes from and how much they’ve invested in this.  Some of them have smoke, lights, moving objects, and sound.”

This year only 10 houses were entered into the contest. This number is a decrease from the previous year, which was 18.  However, the lower number of houses in the contest didn’t take away from homeowners showing their Halloween spirit and taking part in the festivities.  DeWitt Residents, Arlyn and Stuart King, have fully embraced the contest and are intending on taking home the prize this year. “We love Halloween,” said Stuart King.  “Halloween brings the community together, and I was hoping the contest would help bring people through.”

The Kings’ yard is one of the most creative, with everything being built by hand.  The props and characters in the haunted house move via electric motors and tell a creative story to go along with it to make it even more unique. “I think a really fun part of Stuart’s creations is that they are unique,” said Arlyn King.  “You can’t purchase them anywhere because they come out of his imagination.  A lot of the items are found items, and we find things that people threw out and we incorporate it.”

“We chose the theme haunted house,” said Stuart King.  “Once that was selected, then it was a matter of making it all happen.  Every year is something brand new.”

Across town, another home is showing the Halloween spirit by going with a pirate theme this year.  Jack and Pat Crick have incorporated a coffin, a jail cell, and even gallows in their creation.

Man’s best friend has a new place to play

The DeWitt Dog Park is a new attraction for dog owners in the DeWitt Township area who are looking to remove the leash and let the dog run freely.  The dog park is a new gated park that is located at 3577 West Herbison Road, directly next to Padgett Park.   

“The project took about 12 months to put together, with the construction taking place this previous summer,” said DeWitt City administrator Daniel Coss.  “The fences were installed in May of 2017 and we started planning it in May of 2016.  It was a group effort by the city and the township.”

Coss said the City of DeWitt and DeWitt Township worked together to select a location.

Sweetie-licious is a small-town bakery with big-time charm

A small-town bakery with big-time charm is what you will find as you enter downtown Dewitt.  From the retro décor to the award-winning pies, the feeling of love and inclusion is a common theme when entering through the front door of Sweetie-licious. “It optimizes that small town feel of being very welcoming.  You get that delicious food, but you get the feeling of comfort so when you come you feel automatically welcomed,” said Melanie Phelps, a frequent customer.  “You feel like you are walking back in time. “It’s an experience rather than just a place.  You walk in and it is the atmosphere of somewhere between nostalgic and cute,” said local customer Janee Penfield. This was the vision that restaurant owner, Linda Hundt, had envisioned when she decided to make her dream a reality and open her own bakery.  She had the vision of creating an environment where she could showcase her baking skills, yet spread kindness and love to anyone who walked through the front door. “I found out my gifts were loving people and baking,” Hundt said.