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The corner of Uran Street and Indus­trial Drive. Nic Rowan | Col­legian

 

Several business owners have asked the City of Hillsdale to rename Uran Street in the city’s indus­trial park, citing a common mis­pro­nun­ci­ation as their cause of dis­content.

“We don’t really know where the name Uran came from,” said Hillsdale Ter­minal Vice Pres­ident of Engi­neering John Condon. “But we do know that we don’t like a lot of people mis­pro­nouncing it ‘urine.’”

Uran Street’s name orig­i­nates from Denver Uran, a farmer who lived on Hallet Road in the first half of the 20th century. The name is pro­nounced “U-ran.”

Condon said he wanted the city to rename the street to some­thing more upbeat, perhaps relating the street to the busi­nesses in the indus­trial park. He men­tioned this desire to City Coun­cilman Matt Bell, who brought up the issue at a April 4 meeting.

“Given the status of his com­munity lead­ership, we could talk about it and come up with some options,” Bell said of Condon’s request.

Bell added that changing the street’s name might be good for the face of the city’s business image.

“It opens up a little can of worms, but let’s not let a little work scare us away from our improving our indus­trial park, so that when people come in it, they’ll kinda know what we’re about,” he said.

City Coun­cilman Bruce Sharp dis­agreed, saying that since the city does not how much changing a street name could cost, it would be unwise to take on a project like this when there are pressing issues for the city, like the state of many of the roads. Sharp also said that changing the street name could cause even more con­fusion among local res­i­dents.

“I know where Uran Street is,” he said. “Many of the guys in the fire department know where Uran Street is. You start changing the names and people are going to be asking, ‘Where’s that street again?’”

Sharp also said dis­content over street names is not a city issue, and that if business owners have a problem with so small a street like Uran, they should attempt to solve the problem them­selves.

“It’s just a name — just like that little thing we had in Jonesville over the ice cream place,” he said.

Mayor Adam Stockford said that Condon was not the only business owner on Uran Street annoyed with the street’s name. According to Stockford, several other business owners had com­plained to him about the name because people fre­quently mis­pro­nounce it “urine.”

“We don’t want to use a lot of city resources on some­thing like this, but if this was some­thing that was ini­tiated by the business owners, then that’s some­thing dif­ferent,” he said.