28 September, 2022

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Sanford Council hears ideas for beer garden this summer

A beer garden similar to the one that’s been in downtown Midland for the past several summers could be one of the things coming to Sanford this summer. And it would benefit a number of local non-profits.

Community leader Teresa Quintana spoke to the Sanford Village Council at its regularly-scheduled meeting on Monday about the possibility of having a beer garden one or two nights a week in Sanford, which would be in partnership with Midland Brewing Company and would be run by and benefit local non-profit organizations.

The Sanford Youth League and the Great Lakes Bay Veterans Coalition are two of many non-profits that might get involved, she said.

“My vision is to work with local non-profits that actually benefit our community,” Quintana said. “We’re in the beginning stages of connecting the non-profits with the brewing company.”

The beer garden would cost $25 for a permit from the state for each night that it operates, and the beer would have to be purchased from Fabiano Brothers, Quintana said. It’s possible that food would also be sold at the beer garden, she said.

An ideal location for the beer garden, she noted, would be the area south of the Pere Marquette Rail-Trail where several homes were demolished after the dam failures last May and the subsequent flooding of the Tittabawassee River. That area is a designated green space.

Quintana said a group of Dow volunteers is available to do landscaping as necessary to help prepare the green space for a beer garden or other community events.

Village President Dolores Porte said the logistics of getting electricity and water to the green space area still need to be worked out. She is hopeful that can happen by June 1.

But Quintana noted that many community members would like to hold commemorative events in Sanford on May 19, which will be the one-year anniversary of the dam failures.

Along that line, Village Council member Lon Wackerle said he was doubtful that grass could grow in at at the green space in time for community events to be held there on May 19. “We need a plan B,” Wackerle said.

Porte said other locations in the downtown area can be considered as alternatives for events to be located until the green space is ready.

In terms of a regular night for the beer garden, Quintana told the Daily News that Monday nights might be advisable because both Sanford Lake Bar and Grill and the Red Oak Lounge and Restaurant, which is planning to reopen soon, are closed on that night.

“We’re very mindful of the impact on restaurants (of the beer garden),” Quintana said.

All four council members in attendance on Monday also stressed the need to work in harmony with local businesses.

“We want to promote the local businesses as much as we can,” Council member Carl Hamann said.

In other business at Monday’s meeting, building inspector Brett Spangler reported that TCF Bank’s site plan for rebuilding has been approved, and the bank hopes to begin rebuilding its Sanford branch in April.

“They are working to split the site into two one-acre pieces,” Spangler explained, adding that the new, approximately 2,500-square-foot building will be constructed on the eastern half of the site.

“They don’t know what they’re going to do with the other acre yet,” Spangler said.

The Council unanimously approved a motion to accept the site plan from TCF.

In another item on the agenda, the Council unanimously approved a bid of approximately $12,000 from Allstate Sign Company of Farwell to refurbish the downtown clock.

Porte told the Daily News that Allstate owner Micki Denoyer plans to donate the labor part of the project, and the goal is to finish the project before May 19.

The Council also agreed to advise the Sanford Historical Society to plan to have Sanford’s delayed sesquicentennial celebration in 2025. It was originally scheduled for 2020 but delayed to COVID-19 and the flooding.

“We might even have a lake by then,” Council member Marlene Glinski said.