That ugly fence at the new Brighton Mill Pond Amphitheater? Get used to it

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More frustrations are mounting over the new Brighton Mill Pond Amphitheater. City officials are now telling people that the temporary ugly fence that’s in place around the new amphitheater isn’t going to be so temporary.

It’s going to be there at least until April.

People calling City Hall last week were told that the city doesn’t want anyone touching their beautiful new investment, so they’re going to leave the fence in place throughout the winter and into the early spring.

So much for the Mill Pond being the beautiful jewel of Downtown Brighton. It’s not so beautiful when it’s dominated by a chain-link fence and orange cones.

There’s also no explanation as to WHY the fence has to stay in place until April, either. It’s not like it takes that long for newly poured concrete to cure. The industry standard there is 28 days, and I think we’re well past 28 days.

More likely, they just don’t want anyone walking on their new baby. The city spent $739,500 building this thing, and now they don’t want anyone touching it. Which makes no sense. Would you buy an expensive car just to let it sit in the garage 24/7?

This announcement that the fence is staying up until April comes on the heels of a horribly botched roll-out of the new amphitheater, in which the city told all the groups that perform at the Mill Pond – notably the Brighton Kiwanis Club and Livingston County Concert Band – that groups would have to start paying $300-$500 a pop to use the facility in the future. The groups then told the city that they’d have to cancel all their concerts if that were the case. The Greater Brighton Area Chamber of Commerce also said that EVERY downtown event would be in jeopardy now.

The city manager backtracked on that proposal a bit last week, saying the fee structure will not impact events in 2019. But we don’t know what’s going to happen after that. If the Kiwanis Club and Concert Band can’t afford those fees in 2019, they aren’t going to be able to afford them in 2020, either.

This whole situation continues to be a mess. The City of Brighton tore down a perfectly good facility (the old Brighton Kiwanis Gazebo) because it wanted something prettier. And now, nobody can afford to use the new one, and nobody is allowed to touch it, either.

Stay tuned.

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About Buddy Moorehouse 240 Articles
Longtime Livingston County journalist Buddy Moorehouse is director of communications at the Michigan Association of Public School Academies.


  1. The city manager must be financially ignorant. Assume the tax payers are your ATM. Spend money on “credit”. Then your ATM is overdrawn. Now everyone you saod this was done for can not enjoy it. Then add insult to injury the people that spend time downtown can’t even look at it.

  2. Well, I heard that the city council had voted to put up signs that said “No Ducks or Geese Allowed”, but then their select, ad hoc, sub-committee came up with the notion that Ducks can’t read….hence, the fence!

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