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Monday, March 22, 2010

Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) Highlights

NEMCOG recently released Program Highlights from October 09 to January 10. The six page document covers the entire NEMCOG region; however, it contains points of note for Presque Isle County and its Cities, Villages and Townships. The following items illustrate NEMCOG’s value to us:

1. NEMCOG Academy is planning for eight classes for spring 2010. This program provides academic instruction for Planning Commissions, Board of Appeals, Historic Preservation, and other topics of value to local government.

2. Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary/NOAA mapping project. This includes the proposed boundary expansion to include waters off Presque Isle County. The project will make shipwreck data available online via Google and GIS.

3. Regional Renewable Energy Program: Using grant funding, this project will help install energy efficient light and HVAC systems. Also, NEMCOG is obtaining funding for Energy Audit training for commercial and public buildings.

4. Rogers City Zoning Ordinance rewrite: A complete and professional modernization of our zoning. This new zoning ordinance will help encourage development and streamline the approval process.

5. NEMCOG is helping in planning for some of our State Parks: Thompson Harbor, Rockport, and Negwegon.

6. NEMCOG is leading an effort to study a Biomass Gasification Plant for our region.

7. Northeast Michigan Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative: NEMCOG is on the leadership team for this project which is a program connecting educational activities to the special places on the Great Lakes, including a website with a database of local information.

8. Huron Blueways Project: This long-term project funded by the Coastal Zone Management (CZM) program is helping to inventory all public access along the coast from Mackinaw City to Tawas and include it on a website.

9. Center for Entrepreneurial Excellence. Final report completed by Diane Rekowski.

10. Community Economic Development Strategies (CEDS): A requirement for federal funding; it will be submitted to the Economic Development Administration (EDA) in the Spring.

11. Community Innovative Development Strategies (CIDS): This is an educational program in conjunction with MSU to help increase our regions understanding of the Knowledge Economy.

12. Support for Northeast Michigan Broadband Cooperative, helping to bring fiber optic infrastructure to our region.

13. Asset Management: Working with local road commissions and city street maintenance programs to maximize the benefits from very limited road maintenance funding.
14. US 23 Heritage Route: This project has been reorganizing since the board leadership changed from the Sunrise Side Tourism group to the current representatives. A series of brochures are soon to be published showing attractions along the corridor.

15. Regional Non-motorized Trail Plan and Investment Strategy: This project includes the entire 11 county region. It will benefit all via increased tourism, increased recreation, and better connections between neighboring communities.

16. NEMCOG is active in helping develop a work crew / work camp program for County jail inmates.

It is really amzing what NEMCOG does with a small staff!  More information about NEMCOG is available by contacting Diane Rekowski at 989-732-3551 or visiting the NEMCOG website at www.nemcog.org

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