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Hi Eaton Rapids!  Well, Eaton Rapids Air 2019 is “in the books “so the saying goes. This year’s events ran the gamut. Great musical entertainment everyday featuring Oyers Corners, Twilight Memories, the Sea Cruisers and the ERHS choir. Not to mention the crowd pleasing “Thick and Thin (good work Dave and Tim). How about those Dancing Witches (Thanks Linda and your crew). Runners, joggers, walkers, paddlers, dancers, car enthusiasts, strollers, crafters, movies in the park.  The Silver Twinkies gleaming in the sunshine. Great Food and blue skies. We even obtained drone footage of the event thanks to Travis Hayward. He runs a small video production company and is a born and raised ER native.

We capture the essence of the small town. I am grateful to the volunteers on the ER Air Committee. Without their diligence and hard work this type of event wouldn’t be possible. They spent countless hours getting donations, planning the events, coordinating the logistics and being everywhere.

To the hardworking City Staff, I can’t begin to say how fortunate we are to have you. People typically see the “out front” stuff. The clean-up, dropping off the barricades, traffic direction etc. The devil lives in the details. Putting up those last minute electrical hook ups, making arrangements for the stage, erecting the tent and making sure the lights stay on. You don’t hear “THANK YOU” enough.

While attendance was down a bit this year the atmosphere was electric. More relaxed and not as “packed.”  I can’t wait for September to roll around again.

If you haven’t taken the opportunity to view our new mural please do so. It is located on the north side of the Pettit Hardware warehouse. The mural captures Eaton Rapids. Through a joint effort by the Downtown Development Authority, The Friends of Island Park, the Pettit family, the City of Eaton Rapids and the incredible artistic ability and stamina of Mr. Dan Wiles, Eaton Rapids comes alive.

Please take the time to view the mural, take pictures and share them with those you know and those you don’t.

The Hall St. bridge project is underway. You will see some significant changes. A pedestrian walkway is being added to the east side of the bridge. The walkway will tie the existing sidewalk that ends in the parking lot to the park on Hall St.  The engineers have narrowed the bridge slightly. This is to facilitate “traffic calming.”  It is hoped that by slightly narrowing the bridge speeds will decrease upon entering the downtown island. 

A project is also underway to place standardized light poles on the 4 main bridges leading onto the Island. The State St, E. Knight St., W. Knight St and Hall St bridges.  This will give the Island its own identity and welcome residents and visitors alike.

Our Façade, Curb Side and MEDC grant funded projects are in full swing. Several residential and commercial properties are showing vast improvement. It is these efforts that will attract a developer and make the Horner property development a reality.  When an investor/developer comes into a community they drive around and look at what’s already there. They look at the pride that people have in their property, they look at existing infrastructure and they look at the potential for their project to be successful. Take any of those three out of the picture and they will move on to someplace else.  I want to see the Horner property developed as much as all of you do but you have to help me get us there. Show them that “ER Pride.”

To that end, please please please stop parking on your front lawns and in your front yards. A number of years ago the City of Eaton Rapids passed a lawn parking ordinance. Simply stated, section 14-43 of the City Code for the City of Eaton Rapids ordains “It shall be unlawful to park a motor vehicle on any yard except upon a driveway or parking space designed and constructed in accordance with the standards set forth in Appendix A, Section 21 of the Zoning Code of the City of Eaton Rapids, Michigan.

The Chief of Police or his/her designee may grant a waiver of this section for a specified period of time to accommodate construction, property maintenance or for special circumstances if application is made by the property owner requesting such a waiver.

Violation of this section shall constitute a civil infraction.

I recognize that many of you have narrow driveways and with work and school schedules being what they are “car jockeying” is an art. I’m just asking for all of you to make an effort.

Keep working hard to make Eaton Rapids a great place to live, work and raise your family.