ARBY’S IS CLOSING down.
If you’re saying to yourself, “Where’s Arby’s?” that might be problem.
It’s located in the strip mall near WJMN and Biggby coffee, not far from US 41–not a bad location, but somehow it just didn’t seem to click with most Marquette fast food consumers.
Arby’s has its fans–and 3300 restaurants nationwide–but not enough of them.
As someone with the restaurant explained it after the shutdown, “It just wasn’t working out.”
SAME STORY WITH Revolutions, the nonprofit store in Masonic Square that buys and sells used outdoor equipment, especially bikes, and conducts classes on bike repairs.
It just closed down after two years.
A wonderful program. Idealistic. Helped a lot of kids. Donated a lot of bikes. It met a need for many of us who didn’t want to spend a fortune on bikes and outdoor gear.
But running a business and covering all costs ain’t easy. That goes for bars, restaurants, and bike shops.
Revolutions is hoping to relocate and reopen. They just don’t know where yet.
WE’RE HEARING WHISPERS out of Lansing, and they’re discouraging.
The “dark store” legislation, which passed the House earlier by a 97-11 vote, may struggle to get through the Senate in the final, lame duck session which begins later this month.
Reasons? First, the state Chamber of Commerce, which staunchly opposes any change in the assessment rulings, has been “working over” some key senators during the summer. And second, some senators are now looking toward higher office and would be unlikely to buck the Chamber on the dark store issue.
So. If the Senate doesn’t vote on it before the end of the year, or rejects it, the bill dies and it’s back to square one.
Our government at work. Our lobbyists at work.
WHILE WE WAIT to see whether the State Senate will act, here are a few interesting figures to consider:
Kohl’s, in Marquette Township, was determined to have an assessed value of $2.8 million in 2016. But with the Tax Tribunal’s ruling, that’s been reduced to $1.3 million.
Lowe’s value was assessed at $5.2 million, but the Tribunal reduced it to $1.9 million.
Menards? $4.8 was the assessed value. The Tribunal cut it to $2.1 million.
Target had a $3.2 million assessed value, but the Tribunal cut it in half: $1.6 million.
Walmart? Here’s the big story. This monolithic superstore that’s been the subject of so much contempt around the nation? This behemoth that’s mercilessly stomped all over smaller, local stores? Its assessed value was determined to be $5.0 million. The Tax Tribunal was certain to drastically reduce that but instead of waiting for that ruling, Walmart execs sat down and talked to Township officials, and together they agreed on a marginally lower assessment of $4.6 million.
In other words, Walmart, unlike the other stores, left money on the table. Why? Are they good corporate citizens with a conscience? Don’t know.
But the bottom line is, citizens of the Township benefited because Walmart paid its fair share of taxes. The other stores, capitalizing on the Tax Tribunal’s bizarre taxing philosophy, did not.
IT’S HARD TO overstate the importance of the upcoming Fresh Coast Film Festival, October 13-16 in Marquette. It’s the first ever, and will be the first of many.
More than 50 documentary films celebrating the outdoor lifestyle–fishing, biking, climbing, boating, running, etc–playing at several venues all over town for four days.
That, along with outdoor tours and parties. A gathering of like-minded individuals who share the same ethos: get outside, challenge yourself, and seek adventure
A sensational idea in the perfect place, Marquette, at the perfect time of year–the peak of autumn colors.
Sponsors have leapt on board the festival. They know a good thing when they see it.
We’ve had plenty of good ideas spring to fruition in recent years– the Forestville festival, the Marji Gesick killer bike and running race, and Smartprize, but the Fresh Coast Film Festival may top them all in importance.
It puts us on the map.
THE FREE STORE is about to be reborn.
Remember when Grace United Methodist Church had to close down in January? Not only did we lose a church, we also lost the church’s Free Store which provided clothing and toiletries to people in need.
600 families had used it.
Well, it’s coming back as the New Free Store, in a building adjacent to Lakestate Industries on US-28, just east of its junction with US-41.
Grand opening is October 20th.
Good people and committed organizations came together, worked their butts off and made it happen.
They didn’t do it for profit or recognition. Just….for good.
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