It’s not hard to find 304 River Edge Lofts while strolling through downtown Williamston. The four-story brick building stands out in the mix of old-fashioned buildings because of its newness and modern aesthetic. The apartment complex was built last summer and opened in October 2017. With 30 apartments, 17 are sitting empty. With one-bedroom floor plans for $1,250 a month and two-bedroom floor plans for $1,510 a month, property manager Katelyn Franklin said this has some residents concerned.
Wander up the stairs of the Williamston True Value Hardware store, and it has its own storage room. There are remnants from the past, including a run-down kitchen and bathroom from decades ago. But the real treasure lies in the basement. Both the second floor and basement are hidden from the public eye, much like the nested relationship between businesses in the area. It’s there, just unseen.
Residents of Grand Ledge and the surrounding areas came out on Saturday afternoon to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day with a parade and other festivities. The parade, sponsored by the St. Patrick’s Day Parade Association, began at 2:00 p.m. in downtown Grand Ledge.
Finding the thin line between expanding a community while holding on to it’s hometown environment is something Williamston has found. Through the expansion of its downtown with new apartment buildings and restaurants, the community has still managed to keep its label as a small-town neighborhood.
In 2007, Williamston was introduced to an uncommon kind of art. Fireworks Glass Studios brought the craft of original and customizable glass sculpting to the community, along with love and compassion for its neighbors. Owner, Dave Porter, opened his studio in 2007, getting into the glass blowing business just after retirement. The studio creates various pieces every day, ranging from seasonal glass such as Christmas ornaments and glass pumpkin pieces, to everyday home objects like vases and wall mountings. “I love this job because it’s so much different than the normal office job,” employee Doug Waggott said.
The City of Williamston held their regular City Council Agenda Meeting on Oct. 8 to discuss the rundown of pending issues and topics of debate amongst the public. Residents of Williamston actively participated in the city council’s discussions ranging from various police and community events, the renaming process of one Deer Creek Park, and the Consumers Energy Franchise Agreement Ordinance. Williamston City Council, along with any interested residents, convened in an effort to vote on the retention of the Consumers Energy Franchise Agreement. When Mayor Tammy Gilroy put the item to a vote, it was a sure unanimous decision in favor of retaining Consumers Energy as the city’s natural gas franchise provider.The Michigan constitution requires the utility to have a franchise to operate within the public right away, which would be parks and roads in a city.
From horses and buggies traveling down the road to motor vehicles, the Williamston True Value Hardware store has lasted for over 100 years on 139 South Putnam St. The business first began with Rev. Alfred Allen in the late 1800s under the name A. Allen & Company and though it wasn’t the only hardware store around, it was the first specialty hardware store in the city of Williamston, according to a news release that is posted inside of the store. The name has changed from owner to owner about four times over the years, but “Williamston True Value Hardware,” which was given by owners Barb and Jim Vanderberg, has stood strong since 1997. The current manager of the store Jenny Brouwer, who has been an employee for 10 years, said this is the only building in the city that is still the building it was built to be. “We started off as a hardware store and we still are a hardware store,” Brouwer said.
TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — Traverse City in northwestern Michigan is home to many entrepreneurs. The town has a supportive food scene, excellent tourism, a strong Chamber of Commerce, and many citizens with amazing stories to tell. If you walk through Downtown Traverse City, you may come across Ben Phillips, owner and founder of Ben’s Boards, a company that rents paddle boards on Grand Traverse Bay. Scroll through social media and it’s likely you’ll see Sean Murray, founder of Green Light Podcast.
In the nearly 21 years since the Springfield Sultans packed their bags, moved to Downtown Lansing, and became the Lugnuts, the team has seen plenty of ups and downs. This is expected, as their existence as a Single-A team means they must deal with endless roster changes as players get shuffled from level to level as they attempt to make the big leagues. From an abysmal 54-84 season in 2009 to their two Midwest League championships in 1997 and 2003, the team’s on-field success has been unpredictable. It’s been much easier to track the Lugnuts’ success in a different area: community development. Since the former Oldsmobile Park was constructed in 1996, locals and team officials alike believe the team has brought more than the game of baseball to the city of Lansing.
By Holly Osmer
Bath-DeWitt Connection Staff Reporter
DEWITT — The City of DeWitt, with its local businesses, pleasant parks, and quality schools, has seen a large increase in the amount of residential growth in the past 10 to 15 years, and their economy is expected to continue growing, despite Michigan’s overall slowed pace. According to the “City of DeWitt Master Plan The Big Picture DeWitt 2010 to 2020,” this growth pressure is expected to continue to impact DeWitt, the DeWitt School District and other public services during the life of this Master Plan and beyond. “The Master Plan is a document that depicts how the city would like the land to be used and developed over the course of time covered,” said DeWitt City Administrator Dan Coss. “The Planning Commission and City Council worked on the Master Plan for approximately 12 months and then by State Statute it is reviewed every five years,” said Coss. “The time it takes [to finish a Master Plan] really depends on if there are any amendments to the plan, typically 6-12 months.”
Since its creation, there are several aspects of DeWitt that have been either added or improved.