City Council OKs grant application for Front Street development

By By JAN GRIFFEY / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- The Niles City Council gave its OK Monday night to making application for a $225,230 grant from the Michigan Community Development Block Grant program.
The majority of the money would be used to fund streetscape improvements along Front Street in the vicinity of the former HI's Restaurant and Tavern.
About $60,000 of the money would go to the developers of Niles Riverfront Cafe LLC, owned by Tammy Watson and Gerri Klinck, in the form of a grant.
However, if the 13 jobs it is anticipated that the opening of the new Niles restaurant would create do not materialize, its developers could be on the hook for repaying the funds.
Watson and Klinck, through the company they have formed, have purchased the old HI's building and are in the midst of renovating it and plan to open it soon as Niles Riverfront Cafe.
The City of Niles, as its local match, will put up $25,000 -- $20,000 from the city's utilities department and $5,000 from the Niles Downtown Development Authority. The utilities department funds are those which have been earmarked to pay for street light improvements in that area.
Councilmembers Bruce Williams and Scott Clark both expressed excitement and pleasure with the work progressing in downtown Niles.
Williams said the specifications for removing facades on Main Street have been prepared and will soon go out for bid.
Niles Mayor Mike McCauslin said Niles is being held up as a leader in the state in the area of community development and re-development.
He said the city's planning director, Juan Ganum, attended a conference recently at which two of the presenters used Niles as a positive example in their PowerPoint presentations.
In other business Monday, the council:

Berrien County

Berrien County Sheriff’s Office receives donation of body armor for K9s

News

New MRI technology now available in Niles

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien, Van Buren counties reports new COVID-19 deaths

Giving

Niles Scream Park raises more than $109,000 for local groups

Dowagiac

SMC grad serving patients at the Cleveland Clinic Las Vegas

News

Family mourns Niles native killed following traffic stop in New Mexico

Cassopolis

Niles, Cassopolis students receive United Way scholarship awards

Buchanan

Buchanan Community Schools finds unique solution to serving food during remote learning

Dowagiac

Libby Ann’s set to re-open following COVID closure

Giving

Niles group aspires to spread holiday cheer

Berrien County

COVID-19 UPDATE: Berrien County reports one new COVID-19 death

Business

Biggby Coffee location coming to Edwardsburg

Berrien County

Berrien County Board of Health discusses COVID-19 vaccine deployment

News

Teens arraigned on felony charges following police pursuit

Berrien County

Honor Credit Union announces new southwest Michigan regional manager

Dowagiac

National Guard to host TroopsGiving Food Drive in Dowagiac

Berrien County

Michigan State Police seeks participants for National Missing Children’s Day Poster Contest

Business

Shelton’s Farm Market helping to feed families in need with holiday gift baskets

Giving

Niles dealership collects food, toys for those in need

News

With stolen cars on the rise, Niles police urge drivers to lock vehicles

Dowagiac

Dowagiac Rotary Club, Rotary Foundation gifts $1,000 to C. Wimberley’s Feed the Hungry campaign

Berrien County

PACE of Southwest Michigan announces new CEO

News

Niles teens arrested following vehicle pursuit

News

Two sheriff’s deputies treated following Niles Township apartment fire