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Coping with the Holidays

The holiday season can be bittersweet for those grieving a loss. Claudia Been, MA, grief support service manager for Oakland County, will lead a discussion on ways to cope with the holidays while honoring the memory of your loved one. There is no fee for the Friday, December 21 session, which will take place 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Senior Center.

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The New City Hall is Under Construction

Construction began Thursday, December 6 on a new $12.2 million City Hall in Royal Oak. Designed to better meet the community’s needs, these are a few of the improvements that were incorporated into the new city hall:

  1. Better navigation – The new facility’s service counters will be centrally located in an easy-to-find, customer-friendly area on the first floor.
  2. Larger (and more) meeting spaces – The city commission chambers in the new city hall will be on the first level, have more seating capacity and offer a better overflow option for meetings that draw large crowds. The overflow area will have a view of the chamber as well as video screens. The new plan also includes more rooms for staff and committee meetings.
  3. Energy Efficient – The new building is designed to energy efficiency standards that will save money and help protect the environment.
  4.   Accessible – The new facility prioritizes accessibility for those using wheelchairs or strollers in the building.
  5.   Modern Technology – Visitors will be able to fill out online applications at conveniently located user-friendly kiosks.

Learn more about the city hall project and see the building plans at rethinkro.com.

What’s Happening During Construction?

Parking – During construction, 186 parking spaces will be used for materials and equipment. Visitors to city hall and the library can continue to park in lot #4 between city hall, the library and the police department and may also use the west lot at the farmers market, across Troy Street from the library.  Download the city’s guide to alternative parking at rethinkro.com. A brand-new parking garage one block west of the construction site is scheduled to bring 581 parking spaces to the area in June 2019.

The Royal Oak Farmers Market – The farmers market will remain open during the construction. Market officials have been working on solutions to make the market user-friendly during construction, including free valet parking and shopping carts.

What’s Next?

Once the new city hall and police station (tentatively scheduled to begin construction in January) are completed, the old buildings will be torn down. After that, construction will begin on a new 2-acre downtown park. Residents have played an integral role in helping direct the look and feel of the new green space.

The community will get its first look at the results of months of public engagement on December 12 at 6 p.m. when the Downtown Park Task Force meets in Room 315 at City Hall. The presentation will be repeated to the Royal Oak City Commission on December 17 at 7:30 p.m. in Room 315 at City Hall.

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Participate in the Count

We have seen drops in participation across both the 2000 and the 2010 census counts. Each drop means a loss of funding and representation for Royal Oak. Royal Oak is looking for volunteers to join the 2020 Complete Count Committee. The 2020 Complete Count Committee will distribute information and encourage Royal Oak residents to complete their 2020 census. Applications are available on the city’s website at royaloakmi.seamlessdocs.com/f/application.

Get Together with Royal Oak Business Owners

The Downtown Development Authority will host a business owners meeting on Thursday, December 13 at 10 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church.  They will introduce the DDA’s new social media manager, who will be helping downtown businesses with marketing. This is a free service to help get the word out about all the great things downtown Royal Oak has to offer. Business owners will also have the opportunity to discuss concerns, issues and policies that might help everyone do business in downtown Royal Oak. The gathering is free. RSVP.

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Rebecca Calappi

Rebecca Calappi

City News Editor

citynewseditor@localbiznews.net

Every Wednesday at Local Business News we'll feature an independently owned business.

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