In November, this website described a proposal made to Columbia Township that would locate a concert venue at Clark Lake. It would be accessed from US 127 and Industrial Drive. Promoter Scott Vitale says the concerts would feature the Country Boots & Bands brand. Operating as Raine Productions, the organization has put on shows in surrounding townships including Summit, Napoleon and Blackman. The one-day music concerts could eventually attract up to 5,000 to the proposed venue, although their current application limits the number to 2,000. Doors would open at 6 pm with performances from 7 pm – 10:30 pm. Parking would accommodate more than 1700 cars.
The idea was introduced publicly at the November meeting of the Columbia Township Board. The proposal is in “action item” for tonight’s board meeting, meaning there could be a vote. Here are several views of the location.
Below is an aerial view, showing 127 and Industrial Drive. The only entrance or exit is through Industrial Drive.
At Industrial Drive, 127 consists of two travel lanes with a center turn lane. Some concerned residents have posed these questions:
- 127 is already a busy artery. With cars in the center turn lane entering from both north and south, how would that affect traffic and is it safe?
Comment from the Columbia Township Police: Should this pass, Chief Jay Niles says “the department will work with MDOT and law enforcement partners to ensure the safety of those traveling on 127, and those exiting and entering the venue. To control traffic flow, the traffic light at 127 and Jefferson can be manually operated, similarly to MIS race days in conjunction with other efforts at that intersection.”
- Industrial Drive is the only way in and out of the venue. What if emergency vehicles need to use it and cars are packed bumper to bumper?
Chief Niles comments “Proper planning will take place to enable emergency vehicles to operate no matter what traffic conditions are.”
Other concerns heard from residents include alcohol consumption and sanitation.
Here is an overhead view of the plans for the venue.
Here are some views of the 127/Industrial Drive intersection.
To read more from the concert promoter, please click here.
The Columbia Township board welcomes comments at the beginning and end of each meeting. Speakers are allowed three minutes each. Board members are not obligated to answer questions during public comment, but sometimes do. The Township board meets tonight at 7 pm.
The direct impact on Clark Lake, other lakes and surrounding areas could be enormous. I am fearful of the day before, the day of and the day after these concerts. I would guess our already overcrowded public parks at the East and West ends of Clark Lake would have large numbers of people swimming, sunning and probably drinking. The same would probably happen to our public launches with people bringing boats to use to keep themselves occupied before and after the concerts. (bringing more weeds from who knows where) This seems to be much too close for comfort. It appears this idea would put a huge burden on our infrastructure, especially on our law enforcement. We already know what Faster Horses is like and this could be the mini version of that scenario. Many questions and concerns to be considered before moving forward.
Note the promoter’s proposal says that “multiple entry and exit points will be provided” but that is clearly not the case as Industrial Drive provides the only access. While Chief Niles seems willing to provide a great deal of assistance to the cause, I do not believe the benefits of such a venue outweigh the costs. Since Napoleon, Summit and Blackman Townships have already agreed to host such shows, sufficient opportunities already exist for country music concerts.
I totally agree with Lois Moyer. There is plenty of opportunity to attend concerts locally.
Waterville, Oh. has approved an amphitheater, a lot of people are up in arms.