Small Michigan village thinking big
Maybe it’s because I visited The Kal Hole lounge on Saturday night, but I appreciated the reporting of a Kalkaska renewal in Sunday’s Record Eagle, Locals look to revitalize downtown Kalkaska (RE). Apparently 19,000 cars cruising at 40-mph through your downtown isn’t the best economic development tool–Imagine that.
As one resident said (jokingly, I assume):
“Maybe we can throw some broken glass or nails in the street.”
After a drink at the Kal Hole, itself a former hotel turned classical local pub, I took a quick stroll through downtown Kalkaska. The place has potential despite the 5-lane stroad running through its heart. The downtown has historic buildings, it has nice grid of neighborhoods (some with a speed limit of 15-mph), and it is surrounded by natural wonderland of rivers, lakes, and woods less than a 5-minute bike ride away. And key, it seemingly has residents willing to be bold.
Village President, Jeff Sieting:
There’s great, great potential here. A lot of people are in a holding pattern waiting to see if it’s going to happen, and I tell people, ‘There’s a small window of time for everyone to get together and change a community for the better. Now is that time, so come join us.'”
The Village and the Chamber are sweetening a package for new businesses. Down the line, I wonder what a train station connected to downstate would bring to the energy of the town. Further into the future, what if the Big K was home to the Cherry Capital Airport?
What do you think? Go Kalkaska?