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Brighton DDA Chair responds to criticism over Streetscape Project

The head of Brighton’s Downtown Development Authority is responding to criticism leveled in the wake of another Downtown business announcing it was closing its doors.

Earlier this week, Total Cluster Fudge co-owner Alisa Shakespeare told the Livingston Daily that the shop at 124 W. Main St. “had a belly full of Brighton,” which she said had “completely screwed” them in regards to the ongoing Streetscape Project.

“My anger is, what if my life, my kids, all depended on this being successful? They are so disconnected from reality. You are messing with people’s lives, their family, for nice sidewalks,”Shakespeare told the paper.

The announcement follows last week’s social media post by the owners of Ginopolis’ Bar-BQ Smokehouse that they planned to close at the end of the month and may never reopen.

In response, Tim Corrigan who chairs the City of Brighton’s Downtown Development Authority, released the following statement:

“As the long-awaited Brighton Streetscape renovation and restoration project nears completion, the City of Brighton and the Brighton DDA wishes to acknowledge the hard work, dedication and effort of all citizens, merchants, professionals and other stakeholders. A project of this scope and complexity was the result of sustained collaboration among the Brighton City Council, the DDA board, City staff and local merchants over a 5-year period beginning in 2018. As is the case with other municipalities with aging and obsolete public infrastructure, Brighton needed to replace a century-old watermain and other underground utilities, bring its sidewalks into ADA compliance and, in the process, modernize its streetscape to make the City more competitive and aesthetically desirable for businesses and visitors.”

“Our merchant community had the opportunity to provide, and did provide, tremendous input into the conceptual planning and staging of the Project to help ensure all voices were heard and that best practices were observed to minimize the inevitable disruption with a project of this magnitude. As is the case with similar projects and public infrastructure improvements, there could be no illusion that short term pain and disruption would not result.”

“The decision to embark on the Project was approved by the DDA after lengthy public input as being in the best long-term interests of our City, its citizens and affected merchants. While it is always more frustrating as a project nears completion than at the outset, our Project is proceeding on time, within budget, and will provide demonstrable long-term gain for Main Street as well as the entire DDA district. We are extremely proud of the concept and results and are already experiencing tremendous interest in future development and business relocation to Brighton.”

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