It's been over 30 years since the Macomb downtown square has seen a makeover. But the mayor of the city is looking to make some major changes as soon as possible.
Mayor Mike Inman tells WGEM News that repairing the aging infrastructure and cramped space downtown has become a priority. Business owners who would be impacted the most by the project say something needs to be done, and fast.
It's blind spots created by parked cars and crumbling streets that Lisa Johnson, the owner of R&R Spa, wants to see fixed.
"There has to be a change needed on the square. It's congested, parking is an issue, so I'm all for a change, I'm all for the new look of it," Johnson said.
Next door at Nelson's Clothing Store, owner John Nelson also agrees that a facelift to the square is long overdue.
"Re-doing the walkways and the traffic flow can be a great thing," Nelson said. "It's just a matter of sorting through and looking and seeing what the best option in the end to maintain the best of everything."
It's concerns like that Macomb Mayor Mike Inman is hoping to fix. Inman says with the help of bond money, the nearly $2.5 million project would aim to resurface roads, widen streets in the square, re-do sidewalks and repair the sewer system.
Inman says he's also hoping a fresh look will bring in new businesses as well.
"Businesses coming in on the square that may have not ever given that an opportunity to look at it. We have a historic downtown, we want to make sure people know about it, and make the most of it," Inman said.
While he says the project would mean losing some parking spaces, some business owners say the reward is greater than the risk.
"I think people are going to come up here regardless. Whatever decision we make there's going to be other things already in place that will take care of the parking that people feel will be lost," Inman said.
Inman says construction could start as early as 2015. He says depending on the bids for the project, any leftover money would be put toward other street projects.
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