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Friday, August 28, 2009

Another Beautiful Yard

Used with permission of the owner...guess who?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Economic Growth Meeting

You Are Invited!

Rogers City will hold a public meeting about the future of our City. This meeting will start the process of shaping our future. If you attend, you will learn more about this project and the process. We will be talking about living and working in Rogers City and how we can make it better. Bring your family, your friends, and co-workers.
Share your vision for Rogers City and hear what others have to say.

The meeting will be lead by Ms. Sharon Woods, Principal of Land UseUSA (http://www.LandUseUSA.com)

Sharon will guide this meeting and also help lead two more public workshops in October and November 2009. The project will provide a toolbox and roadmap for economic growth. The goal is to create new local jobs and improve our quality of life.

The kick-off meeting is 7-8 pm, Tuesday, September 15, 2009 at the Rogers City Senior Center. Refershments will be provided. Please contact Mark Slown at 734-2191 if you want to attend.

Funding for this project has been made available by the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), the Community Development Authority of Rogers City, and the City of Rogers City.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Properity Alliance

The Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) has been working with People and Land (PAL) to create a local coalition to solve our economic problems. PAL believes in Six Pillars for Prosperity that I believe make sense for Michigan and, especially for our region:

1) Attractive Cities

2) Highly competitive schools and life-long learning

3) Knowledge-based technology

4) Thriving agriculture

5) Natural resources for recreation and job creation

6) Inclusive and entrepreneurial culture

Simply put, the goal of these six pillars is to make our region and state more economically successful over the long term. I think we all agree this is a worthy goal.

In the next few days, I'll try to expand on each one of these pillars, and invite you to get involved. NEMCOG, PAL, and the Prosperity Alliance are non-partisan organizations.

To learn more, copy and paste on your web browser: http:www.pal@peopleandland.org

Smart Growth

Age-friendly communities use Smart Growth principles (development that improves the community, environment, economy, and public health) to become healthier places to grow old in — and better places for people of all ages. To find out more go to:


Rogers City will be using Smart Growth principles, like the ones on this epa site, energy efficiency, and walkability to make our community a better place for everyone.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Mary Malone's Yard

Another great back yard in Rogers City. Thanks Mary for helping make the town looks so great!

Great Lakes, Great Festival

Wow! Rogers City Nautical City Festival Committee did a great job. Now that the 2009 Festival is history and the results are in, we can say with certainty 2009 was the best Nautical City Festival ever!
Big thanks to all the committee members, all the community organizations, and the many volunteers that made this great event possible.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Street Light Project

The new street lights for Rogers City are coming to our main street--Third Street--this year. Unfortunately, we don't have enough funding to do the entire street. The current plan is to put the new lights from Ontario Street to Huron Avenue. This covers the heart of the traditional downtown.

There will be approximately 37 new light fixtures. Check a previous post on this blog for a diagram of this fixture and pole. The lights and poles are manufactured by Beacon Products, LLC. The lights will provide approximately the same amount of light to the sidewalk and street as the existing "cobra" lights, but the new lights will use only about half of the electricity, will shine only down not up into the sky, and have a "nautical" appearance. The cost of the project is estimated to be $380,000 for parts and installation.

Previously, the City hired Fleis and VandenBrink Engineering, Inc. to design and engineer the project. They are being paid $60,000 for their work, for a total project cost of $440,000. The City and Community Development Authority (CDA) had planned on a maximum of $450,000 for the project. The funding is from the CDA budget and Vibrant Small Cities Initiative (VSCI) grant funding. No City General Fund money will be used for this project.

If you have questions or comments about the project, please send them to me.

Yarch and Kelly Yards

Here are two really lovely and cute backyards that you can see from St. Clair Street. Thank you to the Yarch and Kelly families for making Rogers City look so wonderful!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

More Great Flowers and Yards

This one is a amazing! Owned by Art and Beth Getzinger, not only do we see a wonderful yard with great flowers but also a unique house. Thanks Art and Beth!

Michigan Main Street Training

The Michigan Main Street Center has released the new schedule of Associate Level training. As a Main Street Associate, Rogers City is allowed to attend these training session at no cost. Our goal is to revitalize our downtown and to become a "Selected Level" Main Street city by 2010. We need to attend this training to reach our goal.

The training is very high quality. Local people who have attended this training include: Judy McFalda, Beach Hall, Gary Rickard, and Bill Valentine. They all commented favorably on the value and usefulness of this training. It will help businesses improve their bottomline and teach volunteers how to improve our downtown. Chamber of Commerce Members are welcome and encouraged to participate.

Here is the schedule of taining:

Main Street Basic Training

+ October 15: Niles, Wonderland Theater
+ October 21: Manistee, City Hall

Organization/Promotion 101

+ November 13: Old Town, Perspective 2
+ November 19: Clare, Doherty Hotel

Economic Restructuring/Design 101

+ January 15: Grand Haven, Community Center
+ Janurary 21: Portland, City Hall

Main Street Practice

+ February 11: Howell, Cleary's Pub
+ February 25: Boyne City, Library

These training sessions last about 5-6 hours, and depending on location may require an overnight.

I will attempt to arrange or provide transportation for anyone from our area who wants to attend. You would be responsible for your own meals and lodging, and you can ask the Community Development Authority (CDA) Board to reimburse your expenses.

You do not need to be a member of our Main Street Associate Program or of the CDA Board to participate; however, we would like you to get involved in making Rogers City's downtown a better place! There is a place for everyone in our Main Street Associate Program.

"Bridging Challenges with Positive Solutions"

I attended the Michigan Local Government Management Association (MLGMA) Summer Workshop July 28-31, 2009 in Sault Ste. Marie. I was also part of the Summer Workshop Planning Committee that put this workshop together (with a lot of help from the Michigan Municipal League (MML)). As always, MLGMA and MML do a great job pulling together the resources needed to help move Michigan forward at the local government level.

It was a valuable experience, and I will be sharing more information from the workshop over the days ahead. Today, I want to share two related pieces of information: our state's financial situation and Energy Efficiency and Conservation Block Grants (EECBG). These two pieces are related because the State of Michigan is in financial distress but energy efficiency may possibly help "bridge the challenge with positive solutions."

Every speaker at the workshop confirmed the financial distress at the State government level. The problem is a central focus for our elected officials in Lansing. I think they really want to solve the problem, but they have different views. Even with big cuts in spending, the State of Michigan has a large shortfall projected for this year and an even larger shortfall for next year. Unfortunately, this has a trickle down effect on every city and village in Michigan. We were told to expect a 10-20% reduction in "state revenue sharing." For Rogers City this could mean a loss of between $25,000 to $50,000 of revenue for this fiscal year, and more next year. If this happens, it will be very difficult for us to find cuts in expenses to off set this revenue cut. City staff will begin thinking about this problem at staff meeting on Wednesday.

One possible solution is to save money through energy efficiency and conservation. There may be grants available to help us save operational costs to heat and light the city. The grants are "no match," which means we could actually afford to do them. Because the City has a low fund balance now, we can not afford to do the traditional "dollar-for-dollar" grants. However, we may be able to do EECBGs if they, in fact, do not require a local "match." The application forms for these EECBGs have not been released yet, so we do not know for sure what they will require. However, EECBGs might help us save enough to off set some of the state cuts in revenue sharing.

Also, these EECBGs potentially could be used as examples of energy efficiency and conservation that could be used by commercial businesses and residential owners to save energy. The idea is to create an energy efficiency strategy that can be expanded to include the entire community. If you are interested in helping Rogers City become a "Green Community," please let me know.