2017-06-15 / Front Page

DDA to extend Food Truck hours

Highly popular event drawing hungry crowds
By Paula K. Schmidt
810-452-2647 • pschmidt@mihomepaper.com

GRAND BLANC — Downtown Development Authority chairman Kevin Groves was quick to thank City Manager Wendy Jean-Buhrer and the events sub-committee for their hard work in putting together what has proven to be something crowds were apparently hungry for — the First Friday’s Food Truck festival.

A success by all standards, Jean- Buhrer stated now that school is out, they will be expanding the hours, starting now at 3 p.m., as well as adding an additional date to coincide with the Back to the Bricks cruise on Aug. 17. She added trucks are being added and they can house up to 24 but are trying to get a good balance of different foods.

“We had every demographic represented, young and old — an amazing amount of people” Jean-Buhrer said.

The 3 p.m. start date might also help to lure late lunchers or early bird dinner people and the lot can be prepared further ahead of time which may possibly reduce the food lines later in the evening.

Even local businesses have been giving positive feedback from the event, stating it has driven business into their stores.

Groves said he tested that by being at a local establishment after going to the festival and it seemed to be the case.

In other business, the committee approved donations to the Chamber of Commerce for the Family Fun Fest fireworks as well as the Parks and Recreation Summer Concert Series which will be held July 18, July 25 and Aug. 1 at 7 p.m. at Physicians Park (218 E. Reid Rd.).

They intend to have super size games for kids to play with at the concerts such as a Connect-Four and Jenga. Tuesday Tunes will be starting up again June 27 and is held the last Tuesday of July, August and September at 6 p.m.

In addition to door prizes and other giveaways, merchants all the way from Suzanne Johnson’s Sculpture and Design at Center and S. Saginaw Road will feature musicians and wares for sale all along Saginaw to Grand Blanc Road.

The city recently lost two different developments due to not being able to reach consensus with developers on site plans or purchase agreements — one the Grand Oaks II apartments on Reid Rd. and the proposed multi-tenant retail site at the corner of Reid and S. Saginaw.

However, Jean-Buhrer said they have a potential purchase agreement for the latter with a local dentist.

These developments will help the DDA’s revenue to be able to carry out the downtown events which are partly sponsored at this time by sponsorships and city funds.

One project which is bringing in revenue is the Dollar Tree site, which will collect approximately $525,000 in tax revenue at full capacity—including the rear site which is at this time expected to possible be an upscale liquor store similar to what the old Aremia’s was at that location.

Jean-Buhrer has been working with the Flint MTA Director of Planning, Innovation and External Affairs, Harmony Lloyd to install trash cans at local bus stops to eliminate a litter problem on the S. Saginaw corridor.

The heavy duty trash cans cost $600 each and will be installed at each stop. The cost will be shared 50-50 and they should be ready in approximately four weeks.

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