Negaunee looking to improve downtown facades, concerned with Kirkwood building

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NEGAUNEE, Mich. (WLUC) - The City of Negaunee is looking to improve residential buildings and buildings downtown. Thursday night, during the City Council's regular meeting, they approved an application for a grant of more than $400,000.

Four businesses on Iron Street have expressed interest in improving their facades. The money would come from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The Central Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Commission, or CUPPAD, is also helping the city with a new program. It's a grant for $50,000 to fund residential improvements in an area adjacent to downtown.

"We are working as hard as we can as a community and as city officials to do everything we can to help the downtown grow and be prosperous and also protect the buildings that have already had some deterioration," said Negaunee City Manager, Nate Heffron. "We're attempting to get as many grants as possible to enhance the community."

Also at the meeting the City Council discussed the partial closure of part of Iron Street due to concerns about the Kirkwood Building. The building's roof collapsed back in mid May. Since then, additional floors of the building have collapsed and the city has but up barricades and cones. City staff are looking at closing the sidewalk and lane closest to the building until the property can be deemed safe or demolished.