An amendment to the Harter agreement for the Franklin Farms extension was approved at Mason City Council’s Monday night meeting in City Hall’s Council Chamber.
The agreement, originally made in May 2009, was made between the city of Mason and the Harter family regarding the Franklin Farm Drive extension.
The Franklin Farms project, which goes back more than ten years, is now completed but needs another exit calling for an extension of a street, said Deborah Cwiertniewicz Mason city clerk.
“It’s a lot of hoops to jump through to figure this out even going through the state and Department of Natural Resources,” she said. “There are residents within that development who don’t want to see [the street extension] happen because they’ve gotten used to not having it for so many years even though it was always planned, so they have filed a case with the city.”
The Harter family, who originally filed a claim, has come to an amended agreement with the city allowing the right of way necessary to build the Franklin Farms Drive extension.
“The extension of the land agreement was extremely important for us to move forward on the project,” Mason Mayor Leon Clark said.
Council also approved a quote from Dart Bank for an installment purchase of a new fire truck.
“We always prefer to do business locally first whenever we can—if we support local business, local business will support us,” Clark said. “Dart Bank has supported us for years and so it is a win-win situation, they give us a low rate and we give them the business.”
Monday’s meeting also began with a presentation from Ingham County Housing Commission Executive director Bruce Johnston discussing their partnership with the city of Mason and how it plans to continue and expand to neighborhoods.
According to the mayor, the partnership began over five years ago and the redevelopment project has renovated 90 downtown Mason loft apartments with nearly $1 million spent on renovations.
“One of the formulas for success is to foster an extremely strong downtown, then you can expand to neighborhoods,” Johnson said. “My opinion with Mason is when you can start expanding downtown you strengthen the city as a whole.”
The program, which has received national acclaim, is underway to expand to neighborhoods by Nov. 1.
“We’re eager to get going on the project,” he said. “We’ll truly look at the house as a whole, not just prettying them up.”