Resident, business efforts take city ‘up a notch’

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published September 25, 2013

 Two statues at the Bushor residence on Valera welcome visitors with seasonal garb. The Bushors were honored with a Beautification Award Sept. 16.

Two statues at the Bushor residence on Valera welcome visitors with seasonal garb. The Bushors were honored with a Beautification Award Sept. 16.

Photo provided by City of St. Clair Shores


ST. CLAIR SHORES — Scattered throughout the city, six residential homes and businesses stood out from the rest.

Taking time to beautify and maintain their properties throughout the year, the three homes and three businesses were honored with Beautification Awards at the Sept. 16 City Council meeting.

“We just feel it’s very important to recognize those residents and those businesses that go the extra mile to beautify their property,” said Councilman John Caron, the liaison to the St. Clair Shores Beautification Commission.

He said their hard work inspires others, and keeps “St. Clair Shores a beautiful place to live and work for a long time to come.”

The three homes honored at the meeting came from each of the three St. Clair Shores school districts, said Beautification Commission Chair Lil Claycomb.

“We tried to find homes that stood out in the block; we tried to find older homes that have been updated,” she said, explaining that they were looking for those who have put on additions or otherwise improved their home. “Maybe, like the Trombley’s on Elmira, (they) bought the lot next door and combined it with theirs and made a beautiful setting.”

The homes receiving awards this year were those of Debbie and Mark Maniaci at 22312 Alger, Crystal and Tom Trombley at 23829 Elmira, and Peggy and Michael Bushor at 20201 Valera.

Peggy Bushor said they were surprised and honored to be nominated for the award. Two large statues grace their yard, one of which is 8 feet tall and weighs more than 500 pounds. She said they dress the statues for the season, which gets a lot of attention in the neighborhood.

Michael Bushor said they put in an hour or two a week on maintenance now. But the couple, who moved in 10 years ago, see the work as an investment in the community.

“It helps motivate neighbors,” he said.

Claycomb said Beautification Commission members watch for homes and businesses to highlight from one year to the next. Both the building and the landscape has to be maintained and the entire membership of the commission gets a vote on the winners.

“It’s got to be a whole picture,” she said. “It’s got to be a front yard and a backyard.”

The properties are also checked for any city violations; violators cannot win an award.

Claycomb said the businesses have to be established in the community. New businesses, she said, are always beautiful when they’re first opened; the trick is maintaining that beauty for the community.

“Maintenance is the biggest key that I can tell you,” she said. “A lot of it is just simple things.”

She said the commission looks for clean parking lots, a lack of weeds and clean windows, for example.

Maintenance is in the best interest of the business, she said.

“If it doesn’t look good on the outside, why would you bother to go on the inside?” she said.

This year’s business winners were Lakeshore Lofts at 29305 Jefferson Avenue, Newport Beach Condominiums at 22572 Van and Red Baron Enterprises at 20420 Stephens.

The effort these businesses and residents put into beautifying their property takes St. Clair Shores “up a notch,” Claycomb said.

“If they get these awards, they keep their homes up and they continue to do that,” she said. “We feel it is very contagious.”

Residents can nominate homes or businesses for the award by calling the Parks and Recreation Department at (586) 445-5350.