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Posted on Thu, Dec 16, 2010 : 7:30 p.m.

Chelsea DDA meetings to be taped, held at library starting in January

By Lisa Allmendinger

Beginning in January, the Chelsea Downtown Development Authority will have its Thursday morning meetings taped for showing on a local cable channel and will move its meeting location to the Chelsea District Library.

Chelsea resident Jan Bernath requested that the DDA either have its meetings at night, when it's more convenient for people to attend them, or have them taped for Channel 18 as the City Council and Planning Commission does.

Following a unanimous vote, the DDA will leave its cramped quarters in the basement of the city offices and move to the more spacious McKune Room in the Chelsea District Library for its Jan. 20 meeting that begins at 7:30 a.m.

“I believe that the Downtown Development Authority is crucial to developing the vitality of Chelsea’s downtown and therefore is a very important government authority supported by tax dollars,” Bernath said in requesting the taping for showing on cable.

There had been a reluctance on the part of the DDA to have the meetings taped because the meeting room was just too small. But with a change in venue, the DDA voted unanimously Thursday morning at its regular meeting to pay about $2,750 to have the meetings taped.

Bernath is a member of the Chelsea Connection, a group trying to save the Longworth Complex, at the corner of Main and Jackson streets from being demolished. The DDA owns the building, which is contaminated with both lead and asbestos. The city is applying for a grant to rid the site of the contaminates.

"Regardless of what we do, we are working to secure a grant to do that process," City Manager John Hanifan said.

The Longworth Complex was slated to be demolished this year, but that plan has been put on hold until the spring. Meanwhile, the Chelsea Connection hopes to find a way to save the complex, which the group calls historic, and find another use for it.

Lisa Allmendinger is a reporter for She can be reached at For more Chelsea stories, visit our Chelsea page.