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      Fenton renovating downtown, business owner concerned

      The Streetscape project is expected to start in spring or summer 2013.

      The City of Fenton is getting ready to re-vamp it's downtown area. The project will take a year to complete.

      NBC25 talked to a business owner that says the updates are needed but it's going to be tough to cater to her customers.

      Carol Schuler has been making chocolate delights for nearly 30 years in downtown Fenton.

      "It's going to be a bear. It's really going to be a bear," said Schuler.

      Schuler said she's bracing for construction to melt away some of her business.

      "I think it's great they want to do it, but it's going to be very hard on us."

      The City of Fenton will update water and sewer lines, widen the sidewalks, and add benches and trees to the downtown area.

      The Streetscape Project will run between Elizabeth and Silver Lake Road.

      "I think the project will brighten up the area. Downtown hasn't been redone in a long time," said Fenton City Manager Lynn Markland.

      Markland says the total cost should be about $4.5 million. The Downtown Development authority will foot the bill and pay for it with bonds and grants.

      Construction is expected to start sometime in spring or summer of 2013 and take about a year to complete. It's that time that has Carol concerned about her business.

      "I'm concerned with getting my customers down here and finding them a place to park."

      Markland says that has been taken into consideration.

      "In the long run it will help them, in the short run they still have to survive."

      Markland said he's hoping city council will approve $100,000 for a marketing plan to help business owners.

      "What we're trying to do with the marketing plan is to make sure people realize that they can still shop and do business in the downtown area," sais Markland.

      It's something Carol is banking will lessen the blow for her and other business owners.

      "We're all good friendly merchants and we got products for everybody."

      If the money for the marketing plan is approved a firm will handle public relations for the project.

      In the meantime, Carol says she's working on a plan to make buying her chocolate easier for her customers.