The past year has brought us challenges and optimism for the future.
February 2021 brought us the sale of the Birchwood Mall. New owners continue to be a success story with 10 new businesses — including family entertainment, dining, shopping and a bakery — within the past several months. Dunham’s Sports moved into a larger space and CubeSmart Self Storage took over a former anchor store at Birchwood Mall.
Also in 2021, Lakeshore Wood Retirement Community opened with resort-style senior apartments. And Sunrise Pace opened in October providing all-inclusive care for the elderly. Aldi Foods renovated their Fort Gratiot store. Godwin’s Furniture opened their Fort Gratiot location.
The Fort Gratiot Fire Department recently took delivery of the long-awaited emergency/rescue truck, replacing a 2006 unit. The new truck joins the fire fleet of two rescue pumpers, pumper tanker, mini pumper and an aerial ladder.
The Fort Gratiot Building Department issued 276 building permits totaling over $32 million for new construction and renovations. The total real property exceeds $1 billion in value.
We look forward to next year being the best we can make it.
Fort Gratiot is a border community. We look forward to the Canadian/US border opening. The opening will benefit our area, allowing retail shopping to resume and for family and friends to be together again.
We have a proposed water line extension to service 262 acres of recreation land owned by Fort Gratiot on Parker Road. The water service would provide municipal water for the proposed development of new baseball fields, field house and campground. The proposed campground would bring visitors to Fort Gratiot and support area businesses. The water extension will also enclose a service loop and provide additional water capacity to the north east area of the township.
Our Parks Commission has purchased the equipment to create a Disk Golf Course and a new play structure for the Fort Gratiot Pond Park areas. Other park improvements included for 2022 are expanding ADA parking and completing the paving of the pathway around Fort Gratiot Pond. They are also considering the renovation of our tennis courts and the addition of pickle ball courts. Other proposed improvements include a ground maintenance building and development of a farmer’s market.
More from opinion
Housing opportunities continue to expand with the completion of Fort Gratiot Place Apartments, a five-building development with 180 units and a club house. The proposed Fort Huron housing development includes 85 single family homes and 135 multiple family units; construction is expected to start in the spring.
New senior housing opportunities include the proposed Lake Huron Woods II, a senior living community expansion. This development proposes duplex cottages and an apartment building equipped for those with disabilities. The proposed site is west of Lake Huron Woods I, and will be surrounded by a wooded area giving it the feeling of living up north.
Moran Blue Water Chrysler will complete the renovation of the Fort Gratiot store within the next few months. The renovation includes new show room, vehicle service entry and vehicle body repair facility.
Fort Gratiot continues to be the place to enjoy life for the day, weekend or a lifetime.
Rob Crawford is the supervisor of Fort Gratiot Charter Township.
This article originally appeared on Port Huron Times Herald: Fort Gratiot continues to be the place to be, more opportunity coming