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.

Members of the Three Rivers City Commission on Tuesday approved a new “Main Street Commons” district in downtown Three Rivers. The vote allows next steps to move forward for a proposed, designated section of downtown Three Rivers, in which outdoor consumption of alcoholic beverages would be permitted. Such districts are possible under recent, new rules authorized by the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC). These rules, which are to be in effect for five years at the state level, are meant to provide businesses more service options amid pandemic-related restrictions on indoor occupancy.

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.”

“This past weekend marked a particularly significant moment for the East Alley Project, and that is the installation of the archway and sign. It now displays its name, and as much as we have used the name previously, it’s now for all to see. No single step of this project has done more in the way of placemaking than installing the sign. It really feels different now that it is in place.”

Watershed Voice’s Michael Hogoboom writes about his late friend Spencer Minor, who he shared a birthday with and a decades long friendship. Tragically Minor died in a motorcycle accident in 2019, and at the time of his passing, Minor and Hogoboom were collaborating on an art project for downtown Three Rivers. The project quickly evolved into a tribute for Minor, the final form of which was unveiled earlier this month in downtown’s East Alley.

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.

Downtown Three Rivers’ annual Christmas Around Town (CAT) event is just a few weeks away, and organizers have assembled a collection of pandemic-friendly activities that families can participate in despite this year’s unusual circumstances. A few other events on Main Street were cancelled earlier this year, but with proper time to plan, the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Program (TRDDA) and the downtown merchants are ready to host festivities again on the weekend immediately following Thanksgiving.

An outdoor “Main Street Commons Social District” may be coming to downtown Three Rivers soon. At a regular meeting of the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Program (TRDDA) Friday, board members voted to approve recommending the district to the Three Rivers City Commission for approval. The district is a new opportunity under the Michigan Liquor Control Commission (MLCC) to permit patrons at certain drinking establishments to consume alcoholic beverages outside.

A new outdoor music event in downtown Three Rivers drew a full audience this past weekend. Backstage Bash 2020 was organized by the Riviera Theatre and the Three Rivers Downtown Development Authority and Main Street Program (TRDDA). It took place Saturday afternoon and evening on a temporarily closed section of Railroad Drive behind the theatre. Featuring four music acts, it served as a fundraiser for this year’s upcoming Christmas Around Town.