2011-09-22 / News

Museum Sales Up; Wawatam Park Open; Street Light Project Complete

By Mary Petrides

Sales at the Museum of Ojibwa Culture gift shop were up this year, reported manager Shirley Sorrels, to the St. Ignace Downtown Development Authority at its meeting Friday, September 16. Sales for all of 2010 totaled just less than $65,000. Through the end of August 2011, sales totaled $62,000, and Mrs. Sorrels said she thinks September sales have brought that number close to $68,000. August 2010 sales were about $18,500; August 2011 sales were $23,000.

“We’re really going to be in good shape this year,” she said.

At the museum, 17 aluminum storm windows need to be replaced with wood windows, which must be manufactured to historical preservation standards, Mrs. Sorrels said. She received one estimate of $300 per window.

Deb Evashevski, DDA director, said she would find out next month whether the DDA received a Straits Area Community Foundation grant for $5,000 for Chief Wawatam Park, which opened Friday, September 2, during Labor Day Weekend. Total cost of the park was $288,004.99 and income, committed and expected, was $286,915, leaving $1,089.99 to be raised.

Electrical work should be finished soon and the information station should be finished this week, Mrs. Evashevski said. The park will eventually have an entryway sign matching those at the St. Ignace Marina and the boardwalk, a six-foot totem carving of Chief Wawatam, a bell from a locomotive, a weathervane, and a knottying station. Board member John Ruegg suggested adding trees, as well.

The water at the splash pad will remain on until October, weather permitting.

“I’m so relieved that that’s done. That was a huge project,” Mrs. Evashevski said.

The downtown streetlight project is complete and paid for, Mrs. Evashevski said. The DDA will receive a $3,000 energy efficiency rebate from Cloverland Electric.

The lights use less energy than the old lights.

“I’m hoping that we realize a pretty good savings on our electrical bills,” Mrs. Evashevski said.

She said she had heard some complaints that the new lights aren’t as bright as the old ones, but the new ones are supposed to be brighter, she said.

Board member Pat Ramsay suggested that the new lights look dimmer because they shine more on the sidewalks and less on the road than the old lights.

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