ROGERS CITY - A plan to move the entrance to a Rogers City shopping center parking lot has hit a snag, one that could push the project back until another year, according to the city manager.
At their Aug. 22 meeting, Rogers City council members approved a $33,000 project - $10,000 of which would be city money - to move the entrance to a shopping center at the corner of US-23 and Erie Street. The project would move the entrance away from the intersection and closer to the south end of the center to alleviate traffic conflicts in the intersection. However, the management of Spartan Stores, which owns shopping center anchor Glen's Market, would like to see more information to support the move before agreeing to proceed.
The Michigan Department of Transportation was set to spend about $20,000 on the project, City Manager Mark Slown said in August. The money needs to be allocated before the end of September, the end of MDOT's fiscal year.
If the issue isn't resolved by then, it would mean MDOT can't participate until the end of next fiscal year, said Steve Conradson, Alpena Traffic Service Center traffic and safety engineer. There's no guarantee money will be available then.
"Like any good business people, they (Spartan Stores) want to take a look at it," he said. "I think it would be a benefit to the operations of the driveway, as well as the intersection."
Currently, the driveway and intersection have what Conradson referred to as interlocking left turns. Rogers City Police Chief Matt Quaine said in August that confusion caused by drivers going through the intersection while others use the driveway has contributed to accidents.
Spartan Stores management is concerned the move could affect business, Slown said. The company would like to see documented proof that supports the proposal, although he has only anecdotal evidence of popular support so far. He urged anyone unhappy with the drive's current location to contact him at city hall, or tell the store manager at Glen's.
Cliff Sasfy, Spartan Stores real estate manager, said the company is waiting for more information from Slown and from MDOT to evaluate the driveway move, he said.
The shopping center is owned by Catt Development of Gaylord, and company president Glen Catt said Spartan Stores felt the move could impact business and potentially violate the lease agreement between the two companies.
There's still a chance the project could move forward, Conradson said, even if an agreement is reached at the last minute.
"I think it'll be a positive project," he said. "I hope everybody views it as a positive project."
Jordan Travis can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5688.