Southwest Michigan Today: Tuesday July 3, 2018

Jul 3, 2018

Kalamazoo County Administration Building - file photo
Credit WMUK

The idea for a downtown Kalamazoo arena gets another look.  A new study estimates the cost of a new lock for Sault Ste Marie. Some construction projects will be put on hold for the July 4th holiday. 

(Kalamazoo Gazette) Kalamazoo County Commissioners will be asked to put a tax request on the ballot next year that would pay for a new events center in downtown Kalamazoo. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports that economic development agency Southwest Michigan First is asking the county board to put a food and beverage excise tax on the ballot in May of 2019. Money from that tax would pay for the six-thousand seat facility planned for an area near the corner of West Kalamazoo and South Westnedge Avenues. This isn’t the first time the idea of a tax to pay for an events center or downtown arena has been floated. County commissioners refused to put a similar tax request on the ballot in 2010.

(WCMU) The US Army Corps of Engineers released a cost benefit analysis Monday for building a new lock in Sault Ste Marie. The report, started in 2016, estimates construction of a new lock would cost roughly one billion dollars and take seven to ten years. Officials say a previous report from 2007 projected a cost of 341 million. A 2016 Department of Homeland Security report found that a six month shutdown of the Poe lock could result in the loss of 11 million jobs across the US.

State transportation officials say work on many highway projects will be suspended during the Fourth of July holiday. But not all of them. There will still be lane restrictions in construction zones on I-94 in Van Buren and Berrien counties. Similar lane restrictions will still be in effect on M-66 and M-99 in Calhoun County, M-66 in Saint Joseph County, and M-89 in Allegan County. Restrictions on many other projects will be lifted Tuesday afternoon and go back into effect Thursday morning.

In baseball, Kalamazoo jumped to a 6-0 lead in the first two innings, and went on to beat Rockford Monday night 7-3. The Growlers and Rivets will play again Tuesday night at Homer Stryker Field.

Battle Creek lost to Fond du Lac 4-0 Monday night. Four Dock spiders pitcher held the Bombers to four hits. The two teams will play again Tuesday night at C.O. Brown Stadium.