DDA, village continue to make progress on proposed kiosk, clock tower

Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

KALKASKA – The makeover of the 300 Block of Cedar Street has long been a goal of Village of Kalkaska officials, as well as its Downtown Development Authority.

And, progress on a proposed clock tower and informational kiosk, as well as other upgrades to the village-owned property which used to the home of the former chamber of commerce office and Erb Lumber facility could soon go from the planning stage to being under construction.

The DDA hosted a “Design Committee” meeting on Tuesday, April 2. Cameron Porteous, DDA president, said the meeting included senior project managers and was held to “nail down logistics” for the potential multi-million project.

“Surveying will be performed in the next couple weeks to give us the exact data we need for building and landscape placement as well as what may or may not be underneath the ground,” Porteous said.

“As of right now – and this could change but we are pushing for it not to – is we will break ground, given MEDC approves surveying and contractors official plans, this summer on the food truck area and the farmers market area so that they can both be relocated to the south side of Railroad Square so that they can stay operational during construction.

“The meeting was a meet and greet, but more to nail down specifics so everyone is on the same page on the project before they start moving forward with actual site plans,” he added.

According to officials, the project to renovate the two-block area of downtown Kalkaska would be done in phases, allowing the property to host events while under construction. If the village is able to break ground on the project this year, work could be finished in one-and-a-half to two-and-a-half seasons.

“The project has expanded from not only a clock tower, but now the entire Railroad Square buildout, as well as Maple Street renovation in conjunction with the village,” Porteous said. “It was a great meeting and all parties are working well together and enthusiastic about this project.

“The great thing is this project is finally happening after four-and-a-half years in the making.”

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