By Seth Kinker,

The Chelsea Downtown Development Authority (DDA) talked about Palmer Commons amenities, the city parking lot and light pole maintenance schedule, and the Main Street/M-52 project schedule at their regularly scheduled meeting on July 18.

City Manager John Hanifan referenced the list of amenities from the minutes of April 4 when they were approved by the DDA.

Around $5,000 was allotted for sand pavers and concrete – that item came in at $3,500. $1,500 was allotted for painting the fence – $500 was spent on paint with around $200 in labor costs. $2,500 was allotted for signage for Palmer Commons – $750 was spent on the current sign that now stands at the head of the complex (parking signage still needs to be procured). Tables, chairs, and benches were allotted $22,300 – and right around that amount was spent. $2,000 was allotted for trash containers – Hanifan noted that they’ve had trouble with the vendor and still needed them. At the time, blue barrels similar to the ones used for Sounds and Sights, are being used.


Outdoor games haven’t been ordered yet as they determined what type of games would fit the space best, with a $500 allowance.

There was a not to exceed limit of about $45,000 for amenities, Hanifan reported there was about $18,000 left. That is in addition to the approximately $79,000 in remaining bond funds.

There was also a $20,000 allowance for trees which was separately budgeted, and about $8,000 has been spent with more trees still to be planted

At the last meeting, a covered stage was discussed and what the appearance and cost might look like. Hanifan showed examples to the DDA, letting them know costs would be north of $100,000 dating back to initial estimates they received and chose not to pursue.

Portable stages were also discussed and Hanifan recommended a stage no bigger than 12×16 ($10,000) if they were to pursue that option.

The sail cloth, another aspect talked about in the planning stages to provide shade at the Palmer Commons, was discussed at length too.

Hanifan referenced the area to support the 8-foot poles for a 16-foot sailcloth. They could have a triangular or rectangle pattern. Options for colors were plentiful and storage in the winter wouldn’t be an issue.

Hanifan reported that the cost for the poles and sailcloth would be around $2,500.

DDA member Ron Livengood recommended that with they move forward with the sailcloth and that even if they didn’t like it, they could do something different next year. DDA member Bill O’Reilly concurred voicing his opinion that already being in the last half of July, if they didn’t take any action on Jul. 18, it probably wouldn’t happen this summer.

The DDA allotted $5,000 for the sailcloth and poles for any unforeseen contingencies.

Next, Hanifan updated the DDA on city parking lot and light pole maintenance.

The DDA budgeted $25,000 this year for those two projects. Municipal lot maintenance is planned to begin July 29 with the decision made to move the date with the festival going on that weekend. Weather permitting the project should take between 7-10 days.

Finally, the DDA was updated on the Main Street/M-52 project scheduled and traffic plan with the work will be taking place at Old US-12 to Middle Street as well as Middle Street to Werner Road.

With Old US 12 to Middle Street, northbound M-52 will be maintained while southbound M-52 will be detoured to Middle Street to Wilkinson Street to Old US. 12. Wilkson and Old US 12 will become an all way stop, temporarily.

For Middle Street to Werkner Road, one lane in each direction with flag control will be the standard from Monday – Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Two weekend closure for resurfacing and detail work, taking place between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., will result in lanes being closed longer.

DDA Chair Tim Merkel asked if the closures would coincide with sidewalk sales that are planned downtown during the week of Aug. 12. Hanifan responded that it was unlikely the projects would overlap but would check to make sure.

Earlier in the week Hanifan had notified The Sun Times the contractor had decided not to start on July 22 because it would only allow a couple days of work before shutting down for the festival, per the agreement on the contract.

The new start date for that project has been changed to July 29, with parking on Main Street to be affected during the project.

Oct. 15 is the substantial completion date for all of the hard surface work, including paving and concrete ramps.