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Tag Archive | "The Heart of Cedar Springs"

CBDT Grand Gala a huge success


Photo by Heather Ross

Photo by Heather Ross

Saturday, April 15, marked the date of the second Community Building Development Team (CBDT) Grand Gala. The event, which packed the American Legion to capacity, was titled “Celebrating a Great Beginning.” Kurt Mabie and Nick Andres, CBDT board members, served as host speakers for the evening, presenting their personal and factual summary of the community’s new facilities and enhancements over the last couple years. The new Cedar Springs Community Library, scheduled to open its doors on Monday, May 8, with a Grand Opening Saturday, May 13, was at the top of the celebratory moments. A new library has been on the hearts of many for over 25 years.

Mabie read a note from Karen Andersen-Meier outlining how she may not live here now but her heart will always be in Cedar Springs. She also added she believed her parents in Heaven, Neils and Edna Andersen, both avid readers and users of the library, would be smiling from ear to ear. Mabie cited not only the Andersens, but many folks such as Mike and Alice Holton and Ronny Merlington, who aren’t here today but had faithfully worked for this new library.

“They and many others helped pave the way to bring about this library. Now it is our generation’s turn to keep things going for future generations to enjoy,” explained Mabie. “The library, additional park properties along Cedar Creek, a metal sculpture, walking bridge, and clock tower are just the beginning of some of the enhancements planned for the area now called The Heart of Cedar Springs.”

Andres pointed out $118,000 had been donated directly to the library by a long list of individuals, organizations, and businesses in just the past 18 months. This, in addition to over $650,000 previously raised by the library and the $1.14 million raised by the CBDT, allowed for the paid-in-full completion of the library. “This is a significant amount of money from a small community given for the purpose of enhanced public facilities,” explained Andres.

Mabie pointed out the significance of gaining a partnership with the North Country Trail (NCT) officials who agreed to reroute the trail through Cedar Springs and connect with Algoma Township. The North Country trail is the longest walking path in America. Cedar Springs will be working toward “Trail Town” status in the near future.

“The CBDT’s purpose has always been to support existing organizations and governmental entities in achieving their goals. It brings us all great joy to see folks working together within our community and helping each other make Cedar Springs an even better place to live, work, and play,” explained Mabie.

Many groups have become reenergized and are moving forward. The Downtown Development Authority is reviewing ways to enhance the downtown area, the Fire and Rescue Department has blueprints for a new facility, and the American Legion is working on a Veteran’s Memorial around the clock tower and/or at the existing Veteran’s Memorial area west of Main Street to mention only a few.

The CBDT’s Phase I still includes an amphitheatre, board walk, Veteran’s Memorial, additional walking bridge over the creek, and rain gardens/learning stations. Depending on funds that come available, it is hoped these projects can be completed by this fall. Phase II would focus on a Community Center with opportunities for community gatherings and celebrations for up to 500 people. Phase III includes a Community Recreation center and rustic campsite along the White Pine Trail. A three-year pledge card was distributed to gala attendees for those wishing to support the CBDT’s future projects. To date, almost $35,000 has been pledged.

The CBDT meets on the 3rd Tuesday of each month at 6 p.m. in the new Community Library gathering room. More information is available on the CBDT website of CSCommunityCenter.org, Facebook page of Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team or contact Sue Wolfe 696.2246.

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Land donated to city by CBDT, CS Manufacturing 


The City now owns all of the land in the Heart of Cedar Springs project after it was officially donated to them earlier this week. From left to right: Kurt Mabie, CBDT President; Carolee Cole CBDT Secretary; Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack; and Mayor Gerald Hall.

The City now owns all of the land in the Heart of Cedar Springs project after it was officially donated to them earlier this week. From left to right: Kurt Mabie, CBDT President; Carolee Cole CBDT Secretary; Cedar Springs City Manager Mike Womack; and Mayor Gerald Hall.

The Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and Cedar Springs Manufacturing officially donated land that is part of the “Heart of Cedar Springs” project to the City this week.

Over the past three years, the CBDT, comprised of two dozen organizations and businesses in Cedar Springs, along with dozens of individual volunteers, has acquired six parcels equaling approximately 7.5 acres of land through a donation from CS Manufacturing, and from land that was bought at a substantially reduced price from Rob and Jodi Coxon. The donated land connects to the City-owned property on the northwest corner of Maple and Main Streets where the library is being constructed.

The entire area will be part of the ongoing development that will be known as the “Heart of Cedar Springs.”

In an effort to better serve the Cedar Springs Area, the CBDT decided now was the best time to donate the land to the City of Cedar Springs. Cedar Springs is quietly taking its place as the next up-and-coming community in Kent County, and entrepreneurs and developers have noticed. The official closing documents were signed with donated services of Jodi Ellis of Sun Title on Monday, October 17, with City Manager Mike Womack, and Mayor Jerry Hall, representing the city, and Kurt Mabie, CBDT President and Carolee Cole, CBDT Secretary.

“The City is grateful for all the hard work already put in by the CBDT on the Heart of Cedar Springs project and we look forward to working together to make downtown a better experience for everyone,” commented Womack.

Donating the land to the City not only benefits the community, but it also opens many new avenues for grant-funded projects. Once the DEQ permits are finalized, the CBDT and City hope to submit an April request for the Michigan DNR Recreational Grant for up to $300,000. The exact projects to be requested will soon be determined, but will focus on fulfilling the City and the Cedar Springs Area Parks and Recreation Plan. The City is a participating member of the Cedar Springs Areas Parks and Recreation (CSAPR), which is in the process of updating their Recreation Plan. For many years the plan has included a boardwalk/walking trail along Cedar Creek and bridges over the creek. Lack of funding has prevented the City from completing this portion of the jointly supported plan. Other features of the Recreation Plan include an amphitheater, which is the CBDT’s next project, as well as a Community Center and Recreation Facility.

“The City is excited to help invest in improvements that benefit the entire area, City and Townships included,” explained Womack.

Hall added that he was “Happy to take another step forward” in improving the City.

The CBDT has met monthly over the last three years and continues to meet on the 3rd Tuesday of each month (except December) in the board room of Hilltop School at 6 p.m. This is a time when community members come together to share ideas, formulate sub-committees for specific projects, and pursue the dream for better community facilities and opportunities.

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Work on new library site begins


The work began last week on the grounds of te new Cedar Springs Library, at the corner of Main and W. Maple.

The work began last week on the grounds of te new Cedar Springs Library, at the corner of Main and W. Maple.

Work began last week on the grounds for the new 10,016-square foot library at the corner of Main and W. Maple in Cedar Springs.

The $2 million project estimated to take about 6-8 months to complete.

It is just the first step in a wide scale project being called “The heart of Cedar Springs.” It encompasses ten acres between Maple and Pine Streets. Plans include the new library building, an amphitheater, a boardwalk along the Creek, with rain gardens and sculptures, a community building and a recreation/fitness center. There are also plans for clock tower on the corner of Main and Maple. Complementary to this Town Square development, the White Pine Trail and the North Country Trail will intersect right here in Cedar Springs.

In the meantime, there are still ways you can help the library with funding. A paving brick can be purchased for $50 for a 4×8 or $100 for an 8×8 brick. Paving bricks will be placed in front of the library building and will be highly visible to everyone using the library. With the purchase of a personalized, engraved brick, your pride and support of this project and the community will be permanently displayed.

You can also purchase a commemorative brick or block. A block can be purchased for $1,000 to be used in the retaining wall along a path on the northeast side of the new library. Donations for a retaining wall block will not only offset the cost of the retaining block and its installation but will afford you the opportunity to honor or remember a loved one, show support for your community, or advertise your business or organization. The blocks will be formed with an inset to hold an 8×10 brass plaque that can be engraved with your name, logo, or other information. There are also a limited number of capstone blocks available for $2,000.

Forms for both blocks and bricks are available from their website, cedarspringslibrary.org, and at the Cedar Springs Public Library during library hours. They are also available at Cedar Springs City Hall and Solon Township Hall.

Library ClockTower Plan WDimension.pdf

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Coming soon — a new library


This rendering shows the new Cedar Springs Library building.

This rendering shows the new Cedar Springs Library building.

The building contractor will be chosen on Monday, June 27, which means building should begin sometime in July. The project is estimated to take 6-8 months, and cost just under $2 million.

The Library Board, Community Building Development Team (CBDT), and the City of Cedar Springs collaborated to make this lifelong dream come true. The vision of the Library Board, the drive of the CBDT, the support of City Council, and thousands of hours given by many people from our community, have made this extraordinary effort a reality.

One of the final approvals needed was from the DEQ. That approval came through this month. This had been a major hurdle because the Cedar Creek and attendant wet lands run through the ten-acre project site, now being referred to as the Heart of Cedar Springs, where the library building will be constructed.

Between Maple and Pine Streets, on the northwest side of town, ten acres is being developed, which will include the new library building, an amphitheater, a boardwalk along the Creek, with rain gardens and sculptures, a community building and a recreation/fitness center. Complementary to this Town Square development, the White Pine Trail and the North Country Trail will intersect right here in Cedar Springs.

N-Library2-and-heart-of-city

In The Post last fall, the Library Board announced a fundraising opportunity for people local to Cedar Springs. While several folks have already participated, there are still bricks—available in two sizes—4”x8” for a donation of $50 and 8”x8” for a donation of $100. Bricks will be engraved with the name or message of your choice and will be used to pave the walkways into and around the Library.

In addition, there are a very limited number of retaining wall blocks available for a donation of $1,000 each as well as capstones for a donation of $2,000 each.  Retaining wall blocks and capstones, about 36 inches high, will have an inset engraved metal plaque to recognize donors, as individuals, organizations, or businesses. The donation may also be in honor or in memory of someone.

Over $3,000,000 has already been raised towards the whole ten-acre project—the Heart of Cedar Springs. A good portion of those funds have been designated to the new library building, and unless otherwise designated, all donations will be directed to the Cedar Springs Community Library until it is completely and totally funded. At that time donations will be directed towards other parts of the Town Square project.

“We want to take this opportunity to thank all donors and volunteers for their dedication to make this dream come true for Cedar Springs,” said Community Building Development Team chair Kurt Mabie. “It has taken years of planning by the Library Board, the City of Cedar Springs, the Community Building Development Team and various sub-committees to get to this point. We are now hoping that others in our Community will step up to the challenge and help make all of this possible.”

All gifts are tax deductible.  Both the CBDT and the Library are non-profit organizations.  The CBDT is a 501 (c) 3 and the Library is a 170 (c) 1. Checks should be made out to the Community Building Development Team and sent to the treasurer of the CBDT, Sue Mabie, at 15022 Ritchie Ave, Cedar Springs, Michigan, 49319

To obtain the forms for donating towards a brick or a block, you may call Donna Clark, Director of the Library, at 696-1910 or email her at ceddc@llcoop.org.  Checks for these fundraisers should be made out to the Cedar Springs Community Library. General contributions will be recognized inside the Library.

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Former Johnson Lumber property to be site of community building


This map shows the land dedicated to developing the heart of Cedar Springs. The parcels outlined in green belong to the CBDT, and the parcel outlined in blue belongs to the city, but will be developed by the CBDT. The area in red is the White Pine Trail.

This map shows the land dedicated to developing the heart of Cedar Springs. The parcels outlined in green belong to the CBDT, and the parcel outlined in blue belongs to the city, but will be developed by the CBDT. The area in red is the White Pine Trail.

Plans by the Community Building Development Team to build up “the heart of Cedar Springs” in the area of Main and Maple Streets are coming together, and the latest involves a new community building.

“Over the last three years, an enormous amount of discussion and collaboration between the City Council, Planning Commission, Library Board, Solon Township, Chamber of Commerce, North County Trail and White Pine Trail Boards, and the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) members have taken place,” according to CBDT Chairman Kurt Mabie. “The focus thus far has been on gathering input and guidance from all supporting governmental units, community groups, businesses, and residents so that a comprehensive plan could be developed that will best serve our community residents for years to come. Our new year begins with some significant announcements.”

CS Manufacturing has made the final transfer of ownership for the property to the west of the White Pine Trail at the end of Maple Street, to the CBDT. The property was purchased by CS Manufacturing a year ago with the express purpose of transferring ownership of a large portion of it to the CBDT for use in construction of a new Community Building.

Plans for a new Community Building nestled up next to the Creek, are in the works for this perfect piece of property. Between the new Library, Amphitheater, Boardwalk, and Community Building, a vibrant “Heart” of Cedar Springs is becoming a reality.

To complement this beautiful gift from CS Manufacturing to our wonderful city through the CBDT, the CBDT has purchased two more lots at a reduced price through the generosity of Mr. and Mrs. Charles Sommer, along with assistance from realtor Leon Stout. This additional property will be used to fulfill the CBDT mission to, “incorporate natural features and enhance characteristics that already define our community while assisting in the construction of buildings and spaces where the greater Cedar Springs community can gather for cultural, educational, recreational, commercial and family/community events.”  These lots are both to the north of Cedar Creek, one with frontage on Pine Street and bordering the White Pine Trail to the Creek, and the second behind the most recent purchase, 157 Main Street, up to the White Pine Trail.

Approximately 6 acres of land has now been donated and/or purchased by the CBDT. These pieces are adjoining to the city owned property on the northwest corner of Main and Maple Streets. All properties will be used to serve and benefit the citizens of the greater Cedar Springs community.

“On behalf of the CBDT, I would like to particularly thank our city council and staff for their countless hours of hard work in bringing this community together and leading the way in making our community the best it can be!” continued Mabie. “The council’s leadership in promoting unity and providing quality services continues to pave the path for significant growth and improvements within our community.”

The CBDT is a non-profit 501c3 organization comprised of community volunteers. “All community members’ ideas and input are needed. Please help shape the future of Cedar Springs by attending meetings and getting involved,” said Mabie. The group meets on the third Tuesday of each month in the Board Room of Hilltop School at 6 pm. The next meeting is January 19 and everyone is welcome.

More information can be found at www.cscommunitycenter.org or like Cedar Springs Community Building Development Team on Facebook.

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Invitation to all citizens


Help build the heart of Cedar Springs

From the Community Building Development Team

This drawing shows the site plan for the “Heart of Cedar Springs” and how much money has been raised. See it in more detail by clicking this picture to enlarge.

This drawing shows the site plan for the “Heart of Cedar Springs” and how much money has been raised. See it in more detail by clicking this picture to enlarge.

Over two dozen organizations and businesses in Cedar Springs, along with dozens of individuals, have been working together for the past three years to develop eight acres of land, within the City limits, into “The Heart of Cedar Springs.” This place can be called our own “Town Square,” where the local citizens and visitors can enjoy a new library building, a community building, a recreation center, and an amphitheater, all placed among beautiful rain gardens and sculptures along a board walk on the banks of Cedar Creek.

The team overseeing these projects was organized three years ago when the representatives of the businesses, public and private organizations, Library Board members, City and School officials, and many community members started meeting regularly to discuss the future needs of Cedar Springs.  They named themselves the Community Building Development Team (CBDT) and by the middle of 2013, it was clear that this group’s vision could be fulfilled under the right leadership and structure.  The group chose Kurt Mabie, a retired school administrator, as their leader.  They applied for and obtained 501 (c) 3 status, appointed eight more directors, and have met monthly ever since.

Donations of land and cash, as well as pledges, as of November 2015, total over $2,555,000.  The overall project is expected to cost approximately $10,000,000.  The plan is to raise funds for each individual project and to break ground for each facility when funds are adequate. Donations may be designated.

The Cedar Springs Library building is scheduled to be built first, breaking ground early next spring. A few years ago the Library Board employed the Breton Group, a professional consulting team in Grand Rapids, to do a feasibility study regarding the need for a new Library.  Over the past three years, Library Board members have implemented the recommendations in that study and are working together with the CBDT to move as quickly as possible to begin the building project.

Two men, very influential to Cedar Springs, will be honored at this site. President Gerald R. Ford visited Cedar Springs annually for many years as a Congressman and later as Vice President Designate. The day following his appointment by President Richard Nixon as his Vice President, Gerald Ford held his first press conference at the Jordan College Chapel, now owned by Creative Technologies Academy.

The second person to be honored is Fred Meijer. Fred’s father, Heinrik, opened his second Meijer Grocery Store in Cedar Springs and Fred became the manager. He also became a charter member of the Cedar Springs Rotary on April 6, 1942. Thanks to Fred’s support of recreational trails, the White Pine Trail was paved from Russell Road through Cedar Springs and on to Sand Lake. Fred attended a dedication of the Trail that took place in Cedar Springs a few years ago.

A Capital Campaign Committee was appointed by the CBDT and they are in the process of writing grant proposals to large corporations and foundations to raise the funds needed to complete these projects. Other committees have also been appointed and are serving to meet other goals. Thousands of hours have been donated by professionals and by our local citizens who are now looking to you to make this vision a reality for you, those who have gone before and for your children.

We invite you to participate in building the foundation of the “Heart of Cedar Springs” by purchasing a plaque to be imbedded into a concrete block that will form a retaining wall between the Creek and the new library building. There will be approximately 30-40 of these 18”x47” limestone-like blocks. The cost of each plaque is $1,000.  Other opportunities for engraved recognition at the $100 level, such as a “wall of fame,” will soon be available. You could choose to memorialize a loved one or honor a current family member or members and you would be very welcome to donate enough to cover multiple plaques of recognition.

Besides the above options, donations of any size will be greatly appreciated.

You will receive a tax receipt for your gift.  Checks can be written to the Cedar Springs Public Library and either sent to Box 280 or dropped off at the Library. They can also be written to the Community Building Development Team and sent to the treasurer of the CBDT, Betty Truesdale, 141 S Main Street, Cedar Springs, MI 49319.  Thank you all for your support.

 

 

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