Update on re-design plan for Culligan Plaza

The results of a community survey on the redesign of Culligan Plaza were shared with the Alpena City Council and the public during Monday night’s municipal council meeting.

The survey was called for after the original renovation plans were unveiled and portions of it met strong opposition from the community. A total of 1,737 people responded to the survey, which closed October 22.

City manager Rachel Smolinski hired an outside consultant to help evaluate the results. They showed that the most important features of the plaza were a historic look and feel, green space, seating – such as picnic tables, and room for Santa’s house and the city Christmas tree during the holidays.

The survey results are currently being used to formulate a new design for the plaza, which might be ready before the end of the month. The design will first be reviewed by a Cuilligan Plaza committee that has been working behind the scenes on improvements for approximately two years. Smolinski hopes to bring the design to city council in January when it will be unveiled to the public as well.

Smolinski says the plaza is in “desperate need of an update” due to failing infrastructure and a lack of access for those with disabilities. She said the renovations will include a new “Water in Limestone” sculpture and water feature, space for the city Christmas Tree and changes that make it compliant with the American With Disabilities Act (ADA).

Smolinksi anticipates construction of the plaza to begin in fall of 2023 or spring 2024 at the latest.