The Daily Globe - Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

DDA discusses possible downtown improvements


August 10, 2018

Jean Nordine/Daily Globe

Bessemer Downtown Development Authority will look into making two entry ways into the wall at the Ethnic Commons in Bessemer, allowing people to easily access Stempihar's parking lot.


Bessemer - At Thursday's meeting of the Bessemer Downtown Development Authority, the group discussed ways to dress up the downtown area for winter. Suggestions included creating a canopy of lights across Sophie Street, putting up ground displays in the Ethnic Commons, and holding a Christmas decorating light contest.

Also under discussion was putting a dark border on the Welcome signs entering town to make them pop out from the white background. Before the signs were updated the DDA were told that it would cost $15000 for two new signs. Adam Zak suggested the DDA work towards raising funds to purchase new ones down the road, and one at a time.

The DDA is also looking into getting signs that point down Sophie Street telling people what businesses are there. The problem is that there is no room on the right of way off of US2 and MDOT has the final say as to what signs can be erected next to the highway.

As part of the training on ways to improve the city each DDA member was given a pamphlet titled "4 Permanent Impacts of Temporary Tactical Urbanism Projects."

The city will be replacing lights in the Ethnic Commons with LED lights in the spring. There was also discussion about opening the wall at the Ethnic Commons in two places to allow people to be able to go into the parking lot without traveling the entire length of the wall.

City manager Charly Loper gave an update on first impression tourism. The branding committee met with a representative from Houghton and the first impression tourists will be visiting the area in September and will present their findings to the city in October.

A Survey to PopUp Shop owners and landlords is being sent out. The survey will give the DDA a good idea if the Pop Up Program is making an impact and how much of an impact it is.

The next scheduled meeting is Thursday, September 13, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.


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