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Milestone Events

 
This is a brief history of Alma listing many of the milestone events in the City's history. This is a work in progress. We are still doing research on our history. Citizens are encouraged to send us additional events or suggest corrections in the dates of the events included. Dates are often difficult to determine. City records frequently will give a date when something was authorized not necessarily the date it was actually done.
 

1620

French claim Michigan territory as part of Quebec.

1776

Massachusetts includes area as part of its stake in Michigan.

1783

Great Britain signs treaty releasing their claim to the area.

1785

Northwest Land Ordinance makes area part of Wayne County.

1812

Great Britain claims ownership of Michigan.

1818

Alma area becomes part of Michilimackinac County.

1819

Alma area becomes part of Oakland County.

1832

William McComber of the Northwestern Fur Company is believed to have traded with the Chippewa in the area.

1849

Chief Machetoquet dies and is succeeded by his son, Wau-ga-ba-lach.

1854

Ralph Ely leads a party of four to the banks of the Pine River and names the settlement Elyton.

Ralph Ely builds a saw mill at the south end of State Street.

1855

Gratiot County is formed by Public Act 16.

First School is established with Rachel Kress (later known as Mrs. George Gee) as the teacher. She is paid $1.00 per week.

First literary society called "The Little Pines" is organized.

1856

Mr. S.S. Hastings surveyed land around Elyton.

The Derwin Ely Family and five other families move to Elyton.

July frost kills many crops.

1857

Because of poor crops yields, this area becomes known as "Starving Gratiot".

Ralph Ely becomes the first Postmaster.

Ralph Ely builds a gristmill.

1858

James Gargett plots land. Plot lists area as Alma.

1866

Good Templar's Lodge is organized.

1867

James Gargett builds a flour mill.

1868

Piece & Ward establish a saw mill.

1869

Free and Accepted Masons Lodge Number 244 is formed.

James Gargett establishes a woolen mill.

1870

Pere Marquette railroad serves Alma to Saginaw.

1871

John Montigel opens the Alma Foundry.

1872

Alma becomes incorporated as the Village of Alma.

Ralph Ely is elected Village President.

Population: 425.

1873

The Volunteer Bucket Brigade becomes the first fire department for the village.

The Brigade used leather buckets, and rain barrels were the main source of water.

Baptists and Methodists build first churches in Alma.

Ralph Ely is elected to the Michigan State Senate.

1874

On September 3rd, the first newspaper, "Alma Enterprise", is published.

Ralph Ely serves as Auditor General for State of Michigan.

1876

James Gargett's house burns.

1877

Fire destroys the Village Hall and all of it's records.

"Alma Record" starts publishing newspaper.

1878

For the second time, fire destroys the Village Hall and all of it's records.

1879

"Alma Index" publishes newspaper, M.L. Hart is the owner.

1880

W.S. Turck & Company for bank with $10,000 worth of capital.

H.A. Delavan builds first brick house.

The woolen mill and flouring mill burn down.

1881

Alma Roller Mills built on southwest corner of Pine and Superior.

Alvin G. Pettit buys the "Alma Index" and changes the name to "Gratiot County Record".

1882

Village sells $5,000 of bonds to provide water works system including 500 feet of fire hose for the fire department.

Nick B. Davison buys the "Gratiot County Record" and calls it "The Alma Record".

1883

James and Mary Kress of Pine River Township and Ammi Wright of Saratoga Springs, New York donate Wright Park to Village of Alma.

Under Marcus Pollasky's leadership, the first hook and ladder company is formed.

Ralph Ely dies.

Wright Hotel opens on the northwest corner of State Street and Superior.

1884

Ammi Wright arrives in Alma.

For $650, the Village purchases a Babcock hook and ladder truck for the fire department. Men pull the truck.

1st Congregational Church builds brick church for $4,000.

1885

Union School (later known as Washington School) was built on the corner of Court and Superior for $16,000.

When the 1st Congregational Church went out of existence, Presbyterians purchase 1st Congregational Church.

Miss C.M. Fleming buys the "Alma Record".

1886

Alma College founded. Alma College received 30 acres of land donated by Ammi Wright and $50,000 from Alexander Folsom of Bay City.

In a special election, the Village votes on the establishment of water works. Ayes had 66 votes. Nays had 6 votes. Village sells $5,000 worth of bonds for the water system.

Charles F. Brown purchases the "Alma Record".

1887

Alma College begins classes with 95 students and 9 faculty members.

Episcopal Church is built.

Pollasky Block is built.

Order of Eastern Star is organized.

Special election to issue bonds in the amount of $10,000 for public improvements passes 183 to 13.

Ammi Wright builds the Alma Sanitarium.

1888

Ammi Wright starts construction of his stone house on State Street.

Alma Business Mens Association agrees to share credit information of customers.

Chemical Automatic Gas Company of Detroit proposes to install "Chemical Gas" street lights downtown.

1889

George Washington Pulfrey builds Arcada Hotel.

Alma Public Schools have 485 students enrolled of a possible 545 school aged children. Average daily attendance is 376. The district has 9 employed teachers.

The Village adopts ordinance to prohibit encroachments in the public right-of-way.

1890

By a vote of 130 to 22, the citizens of Alma approve the sale of $6,000 of bonds to be matched with $4,000 in private funds to construct public improvements to attract a manufacturing company to the Village.

1894

Ammi Wright builds Saravilla as a wedding present for his daughter.

Toledo Ann Arbor and Northern Michigan railroad begins service from Alma to Owosso.

1900

Montcalm County Telephone is merged with Union Telephone. Main office is to remain in Alma. Service is extended to Clare.

Village hires a dog warden.

Village votes to pay firefighters. Firefighters receive $25 per year plus $.25 per call and $.50 per hour.

New York Governor Teddy Roosevelt campaigns in Alma.

1901

First State Bank of Alma absorbs W.S. Turck & Company.

Board of Commerce (later known as the Chamber of Commerce) is formed.

The Tinker & Hannah planning, mill. sash, door and blind factory burns down. It was the biggest fire yet in Alma. Ammi Wright owned the factory. The plant is rebuilt.

Village council bans slot machines.

Bivins and Rhodes Drug Store opens on the corner of State Street and Superior.

Alma Sanitarium opens first Alma area golf course. Season tickets cost $5.

1902

Election to bond $12,000 to purchase grounds and build Village hall passed 279 to 44.

City Hall and Fire Department built on the corner of Superior and Gratiot.

1903

Horses are used to pull fire equipment.

Alma College begins intercollegiate baseball.

Charles C. Brown buys the "Alma Record".

1904

A sewer trunk line is built in the northern part of the Village. It is called the "Young Line" after Village President George S. Young.

The "Alma Journal" buys the "Alma Record".

1905

Village of Alma becomes the City of Alma.

With $100,000 of capital stock, Central Michigan Produce Company begins processing milk.

The Pollasky sewer line constructed in the southern part of the city.

1906

City installs a modern magnetic fire alarm system. City is divided into 35 fire districts.

Michigan Sugar Company buys Alma Sugar Company.

1907

Ladies Civic Improvement League promotes idea of public reading room.

1908

City begins weekly garbage collection service.

Proposal to sell $18,000 in bonds for public improvements is defeated by a vote of 234 to 350.

Gratiot County votes to ban the sale of liquor in the county. City resides voted to support the ban with a vote of 354 to 338. The 1st ward in Alma and the 4th ward in St. Louis were the only two precincts voting to oppose the ban

1909

Ladies Civic Improvement League opens the Alma Reading Room on State Street.

Under Michigan Constitution, women are allowed to vote on bonding questions.

1910

Ammi Wright donates the Alma Sanitarium to the Michigan Masons for the Michigan Masonic Home. The original Michigan Masonic Home, which had been located in East Grand Rapids, was destroyed by fire.

Little Giant Hay Press Company begins to manufacture hay balers. Later, the company makes balers for waste paper.

Libby, McNeil and Libby open canning plant.

1911

Alma School District votes to issue $65,000 of bonds to build a new high school.

June 8: Hail storm strikes. Michigan Sugar had 3,000 panes of glass broken. Alma College had 300 broken windows. Largest recorded hailstone measured 13 inches in diameter. Reports of sheep, pig and turkey fatalities. Many roofs and windows destroyed. Greenhouse at nursery is destroyed.

City Commission allows schools to use City Hall for kindergarten.

City sells $30,000 in bonds to pave portions of Superior, State, Center, Woodworth, Gratiot and to replace wooden water main on Superior with cast iron. Property owners will be assessed 85% of costs. The City will pay 15% of costs.

Commission pays Civic League $15/week for sprinkling main streets. The team is to work with the City team.

Sidewalk to cemetery is constructed.

Alma Sugar has 350 men on it's payroll.

Streetlights are installed.

1912

Alma High School is built on the corner of Downie and Pine.

Ammi Wright creates the Alma Manufacturing Company to produce McVickers engines.

At age 90 years and 10 months, Ammi Wright passes away.

By 430 yes votes to 396 no votes, the City sells $30,000 in bonds to pave Superior from Gratiot to Park and State from Downing to Center.

1913

Alma Reading Room moves to the Townsend Flower Shop on Woodworth Avenue.

The University of Michigan accredits Alma Public Schools.

Swift and Company purchases Central Michigan Produce.

Floyd Barlow, "The Birdman", flies and airplane to Alma.

The Sugar Bowl opens. It is later known as the "European Cafe". It is now known as the "Main Cafe"

Woman Suffrage. Amendment defeated in Alma 273 to 332

County Road millage passed in City 312 to 113

Gas Franchise to Wagner Brothers passed 590 to 38

1914

Republic Truck Company is founded.

City Commission authorizes “signs to be posted on main streets relative to fast driving of automobiles”. City speed limit is 15 miles per hour.

Alma, St. Louis and Pine Rive Township agree to improve “diagonal road” between Alma and St. Louis as requested by merchants.

1915

Republic Truck introduces a 3-ton truck.

Pollasky Block has a major fire. Union Telephone exchange and switchboard damaged by fire. New telephone exchange is ordered from Chicago.

First State Bank builds on West Superior.

Superior Street Bridge is rebuilt. Wooden planks are replaced with 7-inch steel joints laid lengthwise covered with 3 inches of creosote followed by 2 layers of tarred planks topped with 2 inches of creosote and finally a half-inch of sand and tar. Bid price: $1,250.

"Alma Record" buys linotype machine.

Board of Trade raises $35,000 to build new building for Republic Truck. Other cities also bid for plant. New 35,000-foot facility is built. Board of Trade circulate petition to remit Republic Truck property taxes for ten-years. The City Commission approves petition request.

Duncan Murdock forms the Salvation Army post in Alma.

1916

St. Mary's Church is built.

Charles C. Brown buys the "Alma Record" back.

1917

The Alma Reading Room becomes the Free Reading Room operating as a true circulating library.

For $1,000, the City purchases a Republic Truck with a chemical tank and hose bed for the fire department.

Libby, McNeil and Libby expand into pickles.

1918

City Commission appoints charter commission to study revisions to city charter. The charter commissioners were James W. Robinson, Herbert A. Montague, James E. Mitchell, Albert P. Cook, Lester A. Sharp, Jotham Allen, Frank E. Pollasky, John Ewing, and William Bahlke.

1919

Republic Truck donates a 550-gallon pumper fire truck to the City for Christmas.

Republic School is built.

City buys typewriter and adding machine.

City adopts City Manager form of government.

H.S. Babcock and John Grosskopf buy the "Alma Record".

1920

Library moves to the Alma City Hall with new furniture and shelving provided by the Civic Improvement League and the City of Alma.

1921

City Commission adopts day light savings time on recommendation of the Republic Motor Truck Company.

City constructs a one million gallon water reservoir.

River water contaminates water mains.

National Guard Calvary unit is formed in Alma. Guard leases Wright Horse Barn.

East Superior is paved.

New water well is drilled 520 feet to water.

1922

City assumes complete responsibility for the library. Miss Lucy Alverson was hired as the first librarian.

City commission votes to allow area farmers to use Alma Public Library.

1926

After a fire in their Onaway plant, Lobdell Emory Manufacturing Company moves to Alma and makes wooden steering wheels, bicycle rims and folding chairs.

1927

Stillwell Junior High School and Wright Avenue School are built.

Water shortage eased with installation of new pumps at well.

City Commission adopts ordinance to regulate and control traffic.

City Manager and City Commission meet with State Department of Conservation to discuss alternative to dumping raw sewage into Pine River

Sidewalks are built on Ely.

City Manager uses pie charts in budget presentation.

1928

Republic Truck manufactures a line of busses.

Alma Roller Mill discontinues use of water power and installs electric motors.

Indoor plumbing is installed in City Hall.

City declares war on rats.

City Manager form of government is challenged. The proposal to return to aldermanic form of government is defeated 852 to 555.

City Commission adopts uniform electrical wiring code.

Wright Memorial Bridge (Superior Ave. over the Pine River) is constructed.

US-27 from Alma to Shepherd is paved. The paved surface is 20 feet wide.

New Post Office is built in Alma.

1929

Michigan Masonic Home begins construction of new facility.

1931

The new facility at the Michigan Masonic Home begins housing residents.

1932

Redman Trailer Company starts manufacturing mobile homes.

Republic Truck closes it's doors.

1934

Wastewater treatment plant is built on Washington Avenue with one clarifier, a digester, 2 sludge-drying beds and a lab building.

Mid West Refinery on the east side of Bridge Street south of the Pine River begins operating.

1936

City moves library to the Pearly Smith residence on West Superior.

Leonard Refinery begins operation in Alma. Headquarters are on a 23.5 acre lot.

Alma Trailer Company buys LaFrance-Republic.

1938

Voters approve city share of WPA project to rebuild State Street Bridge and Dam.

Voters oppose a ban on the employment of women to serve intoxicating beverages in restaurants and taverns.

Rhodes Drug Store is renamed Douds Drugs.

John Samuel Morgan starts the "Alma Reminder" on January 18, 1938 with a mimeograph.

1940

Several service and civic clubs meet to discuss community center proposal.

Police force is reduced from 6 officers to 4 officers.

1941

Alma College Chapel dedicated.

November 13 City Commission receives request from US government for list of capital projects for when war in Europe is over. Union Telephone limits work to repair only. No new phone lines due to war in Europe.

December 9 City Commission votes aid to oil refineries and other industries to protect premises. Water plant workers are deputized, and armed. Manager directed to have fence constructed around water pump stations. Firemen are to be trained in explosive bomb handling. City invites St. Louis, Ithaca and Breckenridge to attend training. City to buy 400 pounds of candy for Santa Claus to give to children.

December 16 City Commission requests Federal waiver from amateur radio ban for use in emergencies.

December 23 Fence authorized for wastewater treatment plant. City to use Library Trust Fund monies to purchase defense bonds. Post Office to curtail hours, add locks and guards to doors.

Alma Iron and Metal burns.

1942

Giant Super Market buys cavalry barn and converts it into a grocery store.

Alma College adjusts college schedule to speed up educational process to get men with liberal arts degrees into armed services sooner.

Teachers in charge of sugar rationing.

City and industry concerned about air defenses.

1943

Alma airport is constructed on Bridge Street north of the Pine River.

"Alma Reminder" is closed while Morgan served in the Air Force.

1945

Alma Products Company is founded.

1947

State Street Bridge and Dam are rebuilt.

"Alma Reminder" resumes.

1949

Gratiot County United Health and Welfare Fund starts raising money.

1951

Planning Commission is established.

City buys two-way radio for Police Department.

Consumers Power moves into new facilities on Wright Avenue.

1952

Alma Sugar Company closed.

The Townships of Arcada, Pine River, Seville and Sumner join with the City to form the Rural Urban Fire Board.

Hillcrest School is built.

Plane spotters are still in force after ten years.

1953

Washington School demolished.

May 21, 1953 is declared "Alma Day" at the Oil Exposition in Tulsa, OK.

The Jerry Tyler Student Center is opened.

Gratiot Community Hospital buys property on Warwick Drive.

Leonard Refinery becomes the first refinery in the world to offer high-octane gasoline: 96-octane.

Mary Bahlke wills her house the Alma Public Library.

School Board and City sign lease agreement to use the former Washington School site for a swimming pool and community center.

St. Louis, Michigan is no longer a toll call.

1954

Alma hosts the Michigan Fireman's Association annual meeting.

1955

Gratiot Community Hospital is built.

Alma Public Library moves to William Bahlke residence on State Street.

City Commission authorizes plans for a community center and swimming pool.

Reid-Knox Administration Building is constructed at Alma College.

1956

Wright Hotel is torn down.

1957

First State Bank of Alma and Alma State Bank merge to form Bank of Alma.

1959

Wastewater plant adds new control building; clarifier and two sludge-drying beds. Lab building is demolished.

1960

Strand Theater burns.

City buys parking lot on Woodworth north of Superior to Downie Street.

Direct Distance Dialing comes to Alma.

Alma adopts the slogan, "Alma Means Business".

1961

Giant Super Market builds store on the Pine River.

Water well problems causes water shortage problem. City loses one third of water capacity. City begins water study. Recommendation is to build water filtration plant using river water as water source.

City Clerk and City Treasurer positions are combined.

City begins to create permanent files for the Assessor's Office.

1962

Voters approve the sale of $1.2 million of bonds for new water plant 543 to 200.

By a 3 to 2 vote, the City Commissioner allows taverns to extend their hours past 12:00 midnight to 2:00 a.m.

Police Department gets direct phone line. Previously, calls to the Police Department had to go through the City Hall switchboard.

Alma Public Schools donates land for the public library.

Downtown Alma street lights are changed to modern, more efficient Mercury vapor lamps.

Over 300 American Elm trees are struck with Dutch Elm Disease. The City begins removal of diseased trees.

Gratiot County United Health and Welfare Fund is incorporated.

1963

Alma Public Library is built at 351 Court St.

Water plant construction starts.

Luce Road School votes to annex to Alma Public Schools 103 to 94.

City Commission urges Olympic Committee to select Detroit for 1968 Summer Olympics.

Lobdell-Emery announces a 66,000 square foot addition to it's facility.

1965

Water Filtration Plant is operational.

FAA approval is granted for Gratiot Community Airport. Funding is to be shared between the Federal government ($279,000), the State of Michigan ($122,000), Gratiot County ($100,000) and the City ($85,000).

City adopts the State Uniform Chart of Accounts for it's financial records.

Peace Lutheran Church is dedicated.

April 8 voters approve the sale of bonds for a bridge on Bridge Street 1027 to 293. Voters say no to a bridge on Pine Avenue south of Center 653 to 621: 60% yes required.

Automotive Club of Michigan recommends that Alma adopt a one-way street system.

1968

The first Alma Highland Festival takes place.

Panax buys the "Alma Record".

1969

Old Main at Alma College burns down.

Robert Anthony is the first recipient of the Order of the Tartan Award from the Chamber of Commerce.

1970

New Alma High School opens at 1500 Pine Street.

Masonic Home workers strike for 292 days.

Last taxicab company closes business.

City adopts readiness to serve charge for it's water and sewer customers.

Alma and St. Louis are ordered by the state to upgrade their wastewater treatment plants.

Leonard Refinery merges with Total Petroleum.

1971

Alma Housing Commission is created by the City Commission.

Alma Police buy their first radar gun.

Alma Public Schools take over operation and administration of the Community Center. School levies one mill for recreation.

Alma Middle School is renovated and an addition is built.

The Conservation League sells Conservation Park to the City of Alma for $21,000.

City computerizes it utility billing.

Riverdale School District is annexed into Alma Public Schools.

Consumers Power enlarges their Wright Avenue facility.

1972

Redmond Industries closes Alma plant because facility is too small to construct larger trailers demanded by customers.

Alma Industrial Development announces purchase of 69 acres on Michigan Avenue and Jerome Road for an industrial park.

FAA awards the Gratiot Community Airport $76,850 to purchase more land for a clear zone.

The U.S. Treasury sends Alma it's first revenue sharing check for $94,152.

Douds Drugs becomes Downtown Drugs.

1973

Alma voters approve a new City Charter.

City Commission studies two different plans for a one-way street system.

GTE has a $4 million expansion in Alma. Party lines will have no more than 4 parties per line.

Alma Highland Festival becomes a 2-day event.

1974

Wastewater plant adds a new aeration basin, blower building, sludge storage lagoons and clarifier. Original clarifier is demolished. Control building is expanded.

1975

Dial-A-Ride begins operations.

New municipal building opens at 525 E. Superior.

Alma Reminder moves to Cheesman Road.

Gratiot County United Health and Welfare Fund changes it's name to the United Way of Gratiot County.

City awards first cable television franchise agreement to Cable Vision, Inc.

1976

Fire Chief and other fire officers no longer elected by firefighters. City Manager responsible for appointing Fire Department officers.

Police and Fire Special Benefit Fund created.

1977

Cable Vision, Inc. reports that the cable system construction is 99% complete.

1981

Central Michigan Newspapers formed. Brill Media Co., Inc of Evansville, Indiana, owned Central Michigan Newspapers. CNM buys the Alma Record and renames it the Morning Sun. The paper becomes a daily paper.

1982

Dial-A-Ride moves into the Transportation Plaza.

Sewer averaging program for summer months begins.

City establishes the Library Endowment Fund.

Firefighters begin restoration of Republic fire truck.

GTE announces move of division office to Alma. Announces digital switch in Alma.

August: Total Petroleum moves it's North American headquarters from Alma to Denver, Colorado.

1983

City buys 181 high-pressure sodium light fixtures for downtown.

City begins action against Michigan Agri-Fuels for back taxes.

1984

City creates a motor pool fund.

1985

Bank of Alma creates Firstbank as a one-bank holding company.

City looks at community outdoor swimming pool alternatives.

Tau Kappa Epsilon house destroyed by fire.

Library Endowment Fund meets it's fund raising goal of $200,000.

1986

One hundred year flood hits Alma.

Addition for Public Library is constructed.

By a vote of 1,237 to 1,072, citizens approve 5 years of 2.5 mills for street improvements.

New cable franchise calls for public access channel and studio.

City acquires Michigan Agri-Fuels land from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources.

Cable system is rebuilt so that it will be able to transmit 54 channels at 400 megahertz.

1987

Firstbank becomes a multi bank holding company.

1988

City assumes responsibility for staffing Public Access studio.

Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) removes Alma from the list of potential primary targets in the event of a Soviet Union nuclear attack.

Library buys computer equipment to allow staff to search Alma College holdings.

City enters into an agreement by Proctor & Gamble to give P & G right of first refusal for the Michigan Agri-Fuels site.

City begins offering curbside recycling to it's residents.

City purchases eight houses and one business in flood plan.

County begins discussing central dispatch and E-911.

1989

Morning Sun publishes Sunday editions.

Proctor & Gamble purchases the equipment and fixtures in the Michigan Agri-Fuels plant.

Lobdell-Emery announces an $18 million plant reconstruction.

City Commission creates the Local Development Finance Authority to assign the infrastructure improvement for Lobdell-Emery.

Alma fills in outdoor swimming pool.

1990

Lobdell-Emery builds major expansion to it's factory.

Parking meters are removed from the downtown area.

Census shows the City lost 600 residents. Commission and City staff believe City was undercounted.

Traffic plan developed to ease traffic problems on Wright Avenue. Pine Avenue shown to extend to Cheesman Road. Light is proposed at Heather Lane.

Airport receives grant for $638,000 to fund $715,800 refurbishment of runways and taxiways.

City develops park master plan.

Riverside Park is built.

Dial-A-Ride carries one millionth passenger.

Total donates generator to water plant to help in emergencies.

Downtown Drugs is renamed Gratiot Community Apothecary.

Roy Roach repairs old town clock in old City Hall.

1991

Michigan Masonic Home adds a 204-bed state of the art addition.

City joins Gratiot County Central Dispatch for police and fire services.

City earns it's first Certificate of Achievement for Financial Reporting for it's Comprehensive Financial Report from the Government Finance Officers Association of the United States and Canada.

2.5 mill neighborhood street millage is approved 516 to 356.

Voters defeat millage request to sell bonds for Michigan Avenue rehabilitation by 413 to 454.

Boat launch ramp is constructed.

1992

Public Access studio moves from Gratiot Community Hospital to storefront on Prospect Street.

Alma College President Alan Stone chairs the Gratiot County-wide Strategic Planning Committee. John McCormack, President of Bank of Alma, chairs the Alma 2000 committee.

City reduces work force by 9 employees due to low revenue.

City leases Michigan Agri-Fuels site to Mueller Bean.

Total Petroleum has a fire at the refinery.

Total announces major upgrade of refinery.

Voters approve sale of bonds to reconstruct Michigan Avenue.

1993

City sells $1.16 million of G.O. Bonds to reconstruct Michigan Avenue from Bridge Street to the City limits.

Dial-A-Ride offers exterior bus advertising.

Police introduce bicycle patrol during the summer months.

1994

Build-A-Dream Park construced in Wright Park by volunteers. The funds for the structure were raised through donations.

Terry Materials announces interest in leasing/buying the Michigan Agri-Fuels site from the City.

After receiving a letter from major employers, City engages a consultant to stufy the economic feasibility of creating a municipal electric utility.

City joins with eight other communities to form a regional cable consortium.

Police give trading cards featuring City Police Officers to area children.

The Morning Sun press and production facility on Cheesman Road is destroyed by fire.

Alma Chamber of Commerce combines with St. Louis and Ithaca to form the Gratiot Area Chamber of Commerce.

City earns its first "Distinguished Budget Presentation Award" from the Government Finance Officer Association of the United States and Canada.

1995

Alma Downtown Development Authority is created.

1996

Alma College builds the Heritage Center for the Performing Arts.

Alma Products Company donates funds to build the Emmit Tracy Bandshell and Robert Hicks park shelter in Wright Park.

Riverwalk is constructed in Conservation Park.

City Hall installs voicemail.

City website is developed.

1997

City Hall computers are networked.

1998

Major windstorm leaves the city without power. It took four days to restore power to the entire city.

City starts scanning and storing documents in a digital format.

1999

UDS announces closure of refinery.

66 acres of land on Pine Avenue annexed in the City from Pine River Township through a Section 412 agreement.

Footbridge by Superior Street constructed.

Jordan Industries buys Alma Products Company.

State rebuilds bridge on Superior Street.

2000

Warwick Drive extended from Wright Avenue to Smith Road.

Heather Lane extended from Wright Avenue to Warwick Drive.

State Street Bridge rebuilt and State Street Dam refurbished.

George Blyton retires as Fire Chief.

William Stuckey retires as City Clerk/Treasurer.

City connects municipal buildings through a Wide Area Network (WAN).

December: Record snow storm hits. Received 17.5 inches of snow during December.

2001

Bridge Avenue bridge reconstructed.

2002

Annexed 180 acres with a Public Act 425 Conditional Land Transfer Agreement with Arcada Township.

City implements Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement 34.

Additional section of the riverwalk completed from Superior Street to Euclid Ball Fields.

City's ISO rating upgraded from Class 6 to Class 5.

First Lucky MacDuck Day.

2003

Giantway grocery buildings are demolished on the riverfront.

Built on Pines: The Story of Ammi Willard Wright; a book by David McMacken is released.

City receives a $200,000 MSHDA grant for the downtown upper story development.

City Commission Chambers are refurbished for the first time since the 1975 construction.

City Commissioners begin using laptops at board meetings instead of paper packets.

The Alma Downtown Waterfront Planning begins.

Warwick Dr. is reconstructed from Pine Ave. to Wright Ave.

Walkable Communities Inc. visits downtown and recommends improvements to make downtown more pedestrian friendly. The concept of roundabouts is born.

A Hydrogeological study finds new water well site for the city.

2004

Voters approve a $3.5 million expansion of the Alma Public Library.

Alma Police Department begins Community Policing concept.

Adams Ave. is constructed and Grover Ave. is closed to Superior St.

Alma College constructs the new Wright Hall dormitory.

Oxford Automotive closes/files for bankruptcy.

Center St. becomes a local street.

Design begins on the new Transportation Facility.

Gratiot County Parks Millage passes to reopen Reed and West Park.

2005

A new fire truck with a 75' ladder and pumper is purchased by the Alma Fire District.

Brownfield Redevelopment Plan for the Riverfront Redevelopment is approved.

Alma Police Athletic League begins.

City receives a grant from the MDNR for the fourth phase of the riverwalk.

Woodworth Ave. is rebuilt from Downie to East End Street.

Superior and Center Streets are converted back to two-way traffic.

New Aeration basin for the wastewater treatment plant is constructed.

Construction of the new Middle School begins.

Gratiot Community Hospital merges with Mid-Michigan Health to form the Gratiot Medical Center with a planned $56 million expansion.

Plans to build Panther Parkway between the high school and new middle school are announced.

First Annual Highland Festival Community Day.

Pine Ave. expanded to Cheeseman Rd.

The east end of the parallel taxiway for the Gratiot Community Airport is built.

2006

Valero donates 144 acres of property (formerly Total) east of Jerome Rd. to City of Alma.

New Gratiot County Central Dispatch Center begins operation as an independent agency.

Fred Meijer Heartland Rails to Trails property is acquired.

Construction of well house #8 is completed.

Assessment district created fro the Gemstone housing development south of the fairgrounds.

The development of the Great Lakes Energy Research Park is announced.

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