Looking Glass Brewing Company is looking to be the next big thing in downtown DeWitt. Co-owners Joel Dillingham and Lee Streeter, who are big fans of the craft beer industry, expects the brewery to open in December of this year. Looking Glass Brewing is taking over the historic Mount Hope Church that has been vacant for several years. Along with being the co-owner, Streeter is also the head brewer for the company.
Dillingham and Streeter came up with the name of their brewery by looking at his surroundings in DeWitt. “At first, my employees and I liked the name of the river going through DeWitt Looking Glass River but after we walked through the vacant church with the incredible stained glass it confirmed the name of our brewery,” said Dillingham.
John Coscarelli says living in DeWitt is like living amongst a big family. Coscarelli, who owns Relli’s Italian Restaurant, has been a part of the DeWitt community for 22 years. “Once you live here, you’re part of a family,” he said. “It’s a whole different culture. It’s different than East Lansing or Lansing, everybody knows everybody.”
Coscarelli said the people are always there for each other.
John Coscarelli always knew he wanted to go into the restaurant business. His parents, Norma and Mike, both moved to the U.S. in search for a better life. With them they brought recipes of pasta, pizza and other Italian specials, to bring a little bit of home with them. John believed the recipes were to good not to share with the community. So they decided to open a restaurant.
Spurred in part by fears about contact sports and concussions, state and national youth sports programs are pushing new strategies to protect student-athletes from injury. Those strategies include encourage athletes to participate in more than one sport and putting new rules in place to reduce contact between students and better respond to athletes who suffer concussions. Officials from the Michigan High School Athletic Association are among those advocating for students to play multiple sports. Advocates say that can reduce the chance of repetitive injuries. According to the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, 45 percent of all athletes specialize in just one sport.
Drug abuse in Michigan is an immense problem surrounding the entire state. In 2015, Michigan had the seventh-most drug overdoses in the nation, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Even small areas such as Bath and DeWitt Townships have seen drug use within its borders. While these townships are small, they have managed to make statewide news with their drug issues over the last few years, including an August meth lab raid in a DeWitt motel that sent two people into custody. Clinton County, which the townships of Bath and DeWitt fall under, suffered one death from a heroin overdose and three others died from opiate-related causes in 2013, according to Stopping Addiction with Family Education (SAFE).
DeWitt wants future citizens to move into its community, and its developing multi-use housing to make it happen.
“The whole objective is to have the community that is here enjoy what’s here, talk to their neighbors, and feel good about their community so that they will stay,” said Loretta Spinrad, from the DeWitt Chamber of Commerce. “That translates to more people wanting to live here.”
According to Daniel Coss, DeWitt city administrator, and township manager, Rod Taylor, a huge part of growing the township and city is providing housing for all demographics of people. So, this means that creating all types of housing developments is crucial to success heading forward. The City of DeWitt and DeWitt Township are planning for growth in the future and planning on accommodating more citizens.
The city of DeWitt is starting to become a cultural hub and a go-to destination. A lot of money is being put into the development of their downtown. Maricela Vargas is a preschool teacher in Lansing who is looking for a job in DeWitt and she is interested in DeWitt because of the small city feel. When Vargas visited DeWitt, she felt the family connection with the residents. Vargas said: “I was attracted to DeWitt because it’s a cute city and it’s going to be a great place to live.
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.
Every fall, the community of DeWitt partake in the Fall Leaf Pick Up Program. The Fall Leaf Pick Up Program is a citywide program that begins each year with a city wide sweep in early October and will continue until the final week of November. Even though it is not a mandatory program, however it’s encouraged for community members to get involved. If residents are looking to burn their leaves instead of leaving them on the curb of your house, it’s prohibited. The City’s Fire Prevention Code prohibits the open burning of grass clippings and leaves.
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.
What comes to mind when you think of a city hall? More than likely, you will picture a big white building with pillars at the front entrance, and a domed roof at the center of the structure. However, for many small towns such as DeWitt, that is simply not the case. DeWitt’s city hall was built in 1957 and was added on to in 1986 according to the July 2017 edition of the DeWitt city newsletter. Nowadays, the city council, led by mayor Sue Leeming, are looking for a new town hall to call home.