The gazebo in downtown Fenton will undergo a nearly $65,000 restoration.
The Fenton Downtown Development Authority (DDA) approved the expenditure at its Tuesday, June 15 meeting at the recommendation of Michael Hart, assistant city manager and DDA executive director.
The gazebo was constructed in the late 1970s over a couple of years and funds were raised from various sources and included volunteer build efforts from community members. Since that time, there have been several efforts to do upkeep work and related maintenance on the gazebo.
Hart, in a memo to the DDA Board of Directors, said currently, the gazebo is in need of significant repair and upgrades in order to keep it a viable, safe, and aesthetically pleasing structure in the heart of downtown.
Due to the specialized and complex nature of the restoration work, the city’s architectural firm, The Spicer Group, reached out to Dibbleville Woodworks, to obtain an estimate for the restoration project. Dibbleville Woodworks had performed repairs and replacement work for the gazebo in the past and had the tooling necessary to perform the restoration.
Hart said Terry Steffey owns Dibbleville Woodworks and serves on the DDA board. Since Steffey has had so much history with the gazebo he offered a $20,000 discount to the city bringing the original cost from $84,998 down to $64,998. As a DDA board member, Steffey abstained from voting on the expenditure.
• Small repairs on cupola
• Removal and replacement of crown molding at roof eaves with new mahogany crown to match existing
• Sanding facia around roof
• Remove, sand, repair and reinstall existing brackets and large flat panels
• Remove, fabricate, and istall new large decorative mahogany fretwork panels
• Fabricate and install new small decorative mahogany moldings on large columns
• Sand existing redwood columns
• Remove and fabricate all new mahogany railings with Ipe balusters
• Sand existing floor
• Remove and replace front steps with Ipe boards
• Replace lattice panels with black Starboard with mahogany frame and inset mahogany lattice
• Removal and disposal of debris
Work on the gazebo is expected to be done this summer and fall.
Hart said as big as this restoration project is, it is just one component of the entire project which includes the redoing the plaza surrounding the gazebo, reconstructing the foot bridge over the Shiawassee River, and making the area wheelchair accessible and Americans with Disabilities (ADA) compliant.
Hart said, “The whole area will be renovated and reinvented.”
The gazebo area is a popular spot for weddings and photo shoots, however, Hart said the city is not taking any bookings until these projects are complete.
Funding for the projects beyond the gazebo restoration will be covered by the DDA, grants and other avenues, said Hart. The city will have its architect and a general contractor put together a list of the projects and estimated costs and bring back their plans to the DDA at an upcoming meeting. Once approved, projects could begin this year and likely finish next year.
Hart said it will probably be expensive, but the city expects it to last for many years to come and also take care of any ADA access issues.