The City of Fenton Is Getting Bigger and Better Than Ever

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If you have driven through downtown Fenton lately it’s hard not to get excited about all that is going on. Many new developments are taking place and the city is absolutely vibrant and full of life. It hasn’t been an easy road for the City of Fenton. City Manager Lynn Markland remarked, after the economy’s down turn, the general fund budget was cut by $1 Million dollars which is 20% of the regular allocation.“Thanks to the cooperation between the employees here at the city and the city council, we made the cuts that we had to make and still positioned ourselves for a strong recovery after the recession. I think that you can see the result of that now.”And see that we can. If you have been out recently for dinner, even with the wonderful new additions like The Rough Draft, Sagano and the FireHall, you will be hard pressed to find a place to go without a fairly lengthy wait. The local businesses have, in most cases, found the new development has provided an influx of new clients eager to see what is going on in our town. “We have such great anchors with The Laundry, Fenton House, and the Hotel. Our downtown has a lot of great retail businesses as well, stores like Sweet Variations and the Iron Grate, not your typical franchises or big box stores. They are very unique, locally owned stores.”With the new expansive Streetscape project getting ready to launch, the city isn’t slowing down. The DDA has put a lot of work into developing the master plan. In 2009 the city brought in a walkability expert named Dan Burden from Washington to evaluate the layout of the downtown area. Taking cues from his audit, the city is working hard to make the downtown a great walk able place for local people and tourists alike. The new plan affords great places for people to sit and relax as well as an organized easily navigated city map allowing people to

enjoy all of the gems we have to offer. There will be much landscaping to come, beautiful brick paved walkways, and wider sidewalks to allow for more effective pedestrian traffic. All of the concept drawings for the Master Plan for the new buildings, and for the streetscape are available for everyone to see in the lobby of City Hall if you are interested. The master plan was developed between 2006-2007 by the DDA with input from the community. When asked whether or not Lynn saw all of this fantastic growth in the city’s future he replied, “Before applying for the position, I researched the community. It was obvious with the layout of the city that they were headed toward more growth.” Where most people would see empty lots and aging buildings as obstacles, the DDA saw them as opportunities. “The open spaces have allowed us to work with a blank canvas and build what the community wants and needs in those areas.  ”Another one of the exciting projects that is just moments away from being ready for unveiling is the new extension to the Community Center. Providing a stronger infusion of Art and Culture to the Fenton Area, the new facility is furnished with spaces to allow for classes and activities. Can we take a look at the inside? Not just yet. The first look will be had at an event for donors in the near future. With all of this activity we are already starting to see people flocking to find housing in the downtown area. Are we surprised? Not one bit. We can’t wait to see what the future has in store. Have any great stories that you think people would like to hear about? Contact us today at news@thelascopress.com