Executive Editor Alek Haak-Frost writes, “Neighborhood skateparks, basketball courts, and open grass with no entry fees are paramount for low-income residents, and with Tuesday’s decision to approve the allocation of $17,000 to extend the Memory Isle basketball court from a half court to a full court, as well as the installation of a second hoop, the city commission chose to invest in an incredibly important and underserved demographic within our community.”

The Three Rivers City Commission approved a $50,000 donation to the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority Tuesday following a presentation from TRDDA Executive Director Tricia Meyer. The TRDDA was instrumental in bringing approximately $326,000 in grants to downtown Three Rivers in 2020, benefiting local businesses amid a global pandemic and economic downturn, and facilitating the continued beautification of downtown Three Rivers.

Three Rivers City Commissioners Clayton Lyczynski and Alison Haigh questioned whether Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority Chair Andrew George should be reappointed during Tuesday’s commission meeting. Lyczynski cited George’s involvement in a suit filed against the city concerning a petition to place a marijuana ordinance on last November’s ballot, questioning George’s “integrity” and “desire to do what’s best for the city.”

Following a regular meeting of the Three Rivers City Commission Tuesday night, representatives of several city boards and staffs held a joint meeting and presentation on current planning and development activities in the city. The meeting is required going forward as part of something called the Redevelopment Ready Communities process (RRC), which is a program of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The RRC process is designed to help municipalities around the state improve their processes, laws, and planning documents to better facilitate and manage development.

At an annual organizational meeting Monday evening, members of the Three Rivers City Commission heard about a year’s worth of work and progress from the city’s various department heads, ranging from the fire and police chiefs to the mapmaker and the grant writer. Commissioners also passed a series of measures to set various procedures for the coming year. City Manager Joe Bippus said the city has gotten “a lot of things accomplished” in the past year, and has been “very resourceful,” delivering “quality services” to the public through diligent frugality and with “very little waste” of money or other resources.

During closing comments at a regular Three Rivers City Commission meeting Monday, City Manager Joe Bippus said the Three Rivers Woman’s Club (TRWC) is seeking alternatives to its current space in the Carnegie Building, which it shares with the Carnegie Center for the Arts (CCA). The City currently owns the building but leases it to TRWC, which subleases it to the CCA. Earlier this year, the CCA and the city entered into a Buy-Sell Agreement that set initial terms for the CCA to buy the building. That agreement stipulated that the CCA and TRWC agree to a new lease, but the parties have been at an impasse for several months over questions of building access.