FOX 66 News at Ten
City officials are to meet with Saginaw residents who are expected to voice their support and concerns about a construction project planned in Old Town.
Some say the project will be good for the neighborhood, but business owners question if it will be good for business.
"It's absolutely a good thing," said Russ Howell, a former police officer. "Not only for the city, but for the county as a whole."
Howell meets his friends for coffee every morning at the "Red Eye Cafe" in an area of Saginaw known as Old Town.
Howell worked as a police officer in the city for nearly 30 years and says improvements to the neighborhood are long overdue.
"This area is not dead, it can come back in a strong way," said Howell. He believes upcoming construction projects on Hamilton Street will help make that happen.
This summer, new street lights are being installed and next year plans are in the works to repave the sidewalks, replace trees and planters, additions many hope will help revitalize the community.
While many hope the revitalization project will help draw people into Old Town, local business owners hope the construction doesn't keep customers away.
"That's a 40 percent drop in business when you start doing construction," said Jason Clayton, owner of Old Town Tatoo. "People go up and down this road all day and we're not going to have that. So, it's going to be a drastic drop."
Clayton opened Old Town Tattoo over 20 years ago and he isn't thrilled about the idea of the construction. But he thinks the overall project will pay off in the long run.
"Any improvement down here is good," said Clayton. "To get the people down here, show them it's safe, show them that it's good businesses down here."
Residents say they hope these updates will be the beginning of bigger improvements for city of Saginaw.
Officials will hold an open house at City Hall on Tuesday evening to get input from residents before plans are finalized on phase two of the construction project, which begins next year.
Copyright 2013 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
Wednesday, March 13 2013, 10:48 AM EDT
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