DAVIS – A downtown businessman’s proposal to take over and move the Sunday drive-in cruise hit a speed bump after the city council demanded more information before approving his request to close from Main Street.
Scott Binkley, owner of Memories and More, 111 E. Second St., in Davison, came to council Jan. 24 with a street closure request for Main Street signed by local businesses asking to run a drive-in cruise to the town center on Sundays from 1 May. to Oct. 2, from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m.
But the council voted to put the request on hold until Binkley provides details on the number of volunteers, security and traffic control for the event.
Binkley, a car enthusiast who has organized car cruises in Millington and Linden, said he has organized other car events and was also involved in the Back to the Bricks Chrome and Ice Show.
When the Davison Downtown Development Authority recently decided not to continue Friday night car cruises after more than 15 years, Binkley said he wanted to step in and keep the cruise alive.
He said he wanted to move it to Sundays and would staff it with its own volunteers and support it with its own sponsors.
Councilwoman Jessica Abraham, who is also the events coordinator for the DDA, asked where Binkley, her volunteers and her sponsors were when the DDA was struggling to find the two to help keep the car cruise going.
“The Davison DDA has been running a Main Street car cruise for 15 years, the last three I’ve volunteered to work there,” Abraham said. “We have always needed volunteers and we have communicated this to business owners. Without sounding rude, Mr. Binkley, where have you been?
She also said the DDA had posted online, sent letters and asked business owners for sponsorship support, but wondered why Binkley hadn’t offered her contacts at the time.
Abraham went on to say that the signatures he collected were 53 of the potential 75 affected by a cruise downtown on Sunday.
Six of these businesses are open on Sundays and these included a funeral home, church and residences for the elderly.
“This event would be considered a private event and I ask where to draw the line on closing streets for private events?” she said. “How do we choose, in the future, what we approve and what we refuse? Personally, I’d love to host my daughter’s open house on Second and Main streets.
Abraham also asked what type of insurance Binkley would have for this event, what type of events would take place downtown during the cruise, as well as how he would handle security and barricades.
Binkley said her store remained open during Friday night cruises and allowed public use of her restrooms. He said his store has also given out awards to car owners and has allowed Odd Fellows to use its corner of Main and Second Streets for al fresco sales and dining during cruises.
As for insurance, he said he was checking for liability coverage and the barricades wouldn’t have to be provided by the city, as he and volunteers would build them, place them, and remove them from the streets. cruise days.
At previous motoring events, he said he hadn’t had security but would see if he could find a solution through potential volunteers.
Councilwoman Jamie Stebbins called the downtown Friday night cruise a “failed event” and asked Binkley what would set her cruise apart from others in the community, especially the shows at John’s Pizzeria and Davison Farmers Market. .
“What justifies the closure of so many blocks of our main thoroughfare in the city?” she asked. “What would set it apart from the other two we already have at Davison?”
Binkley said he was unaware of the status of car shows at John’s, but said many car enthusiasts, including himself, are unwilling to take their cars to the Farmers Market because it has gravel and dirt parking.
He said his cruise will offer something for everyone.
“Davison on Wheels will see all generations show up,” he said, noting that the event is for anything that rolls. “It will bring new people and create more activity downtown.”
Stebbins also said she was not comfortable with events taking place over 23 weeks and wondered if a shorter period should be approved to see if the event takes off, as Binkley said that he thought it would.
Councilman Ron Emery, who is also a classic car enthusiast, said Davison’s car cruise was not unsuccessful, but “successfully spectacularly”.
“I don’t think we need to say ‘no,'” he said. “I think we need a better plan. There are a ton of cars in this county.
Councilor Casey Clark said he was also in favor of the event, if it were to be well organized.
“I’m for anyone hosting a private event, if it makes sense…and it makes sense,” he said. “I don’t want to take anything away from a lot of the people who support him.”
Binkley, who has held similar motoring events in Millington for the past two years, and in Linden for eight years, said another potential key to this show’s success is that there aren’t many shows. Sunday in the region.
Emery made a motion that Binkley return to council as soon as he has a more detailed plan, including detailed security, direction of traffic, proof of insurance and the number of volunteers he will need.
“It’s not granting permission; he is studying the possibility,” he said.
Mayor Tim Bishop said that while he is in favor of the event, his concern is for the Agitated Grape Bar & Bistro, 310 N. Main St., which has worked hard to provide attractions and specials on Sundays. to attract customers.
“They’re in a great location and they kickstarted a lot of what’s happening downtown,” Bishop said. “The owner doesn’t want his parking lot choked off. Right now, Sunday, no one is there. If there could be a compromise allowing them to leave the main street in front of the Agitated Grape open, I don’t see that part of the street being closed.
The motion passed unanimously and Binkley will have to come up with a plan that addresses council’s concerns before the Sunday cruise is considered.
The day after the meeting, Binkley told the Index he was “disappointed and hurt” with how he was received by some board members.
A special city council meeting will be held Jan. 31 at 6 p.m. City Hall, 200 E. Flint St., #2 Davison. Binkley said he would prepare answers to council questions and urged anyone wishing to support a Sunday cruise to attend the meeting.