Jessica Mathews /

Another step forward in the City of Howell’s big project to revitalize the existing dilapidated Depot Lot and add more parking downtown.

City Council met Monday night and unanimously approved a resolution of a notice of intent to bond for the project, now being referred to as the “Fire and Ice Depot District”.

City Manager Erv Suida told WHMI it’s a formality and the next step will be to approve the sale of the bonds. He said it’s been set a $7.4 (m) million but that’s a high number and will likely be much lower when they actually sell the bonds - adding they’re also going for some additional grants to help reduce the amount even further.

The City has already received two grants toward the project that aims to transform the area and provide a year-round public gathering space for residents and visitors, while adding an extra 220-parking spaces in the Central Business District. An ice rink is among some of the amenities.

Suida commented during the meeting that there has been a lot of good community support for the project that’s been in the works for a long time – notably the ice rink and additional parking – and getting closer to reality is exciting. He specifically referenced a recent letter received from the Livingston Arts Council, which operates the Howell Opera House, in recognition of the additional parking around town, along with the public gathering amenities.

Suida told WHMI they’re currently working with the owner of Snedicor’s Dry Cleaning and the state on a donation agreement for property located on South Michigan Ave to provide surface lot parking. He noted it’s a historically contaminated site that they would clean up, get rid of some blight, and provide a nice parking lot with some public amenities as part of the larger project.

Suida said they’re also looking at improvements to other City parking lots to add additional spots and make some more functional.

A link to more information about the project and renderings is provided.