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Thursday, January 31, 2013

"A Century In Stone" to Air on PBS

Contact: Anne Belanger
Presque Isle District Library
989-734-2477, ext. 241
181 E. Erie Street
Rogers City, MI  49779
Presque Isle District Library


The Historical Documentary, A Century in Stone Airs on PBS


The historical documentary, A Century in Stone, produced through the Presque Isle District Library in partnership with Bon Ami filmworks, LLC will air on PBS station, WCMU, channel 6 on Tuesday, February 5th  at 10:30am; Wednesday, February 6th  at 5:00pm; and Sunday, February 10th  at 5:30pm.   

A Century in Stone celebrates 100 years of limestone operation and the achievements of the people who have worked at the Calcite quarry in Northeast Michigan. The Michigan Limestone and Chemical Company founded in1910, began its operations in 1912. The aggregate stone was used to help build warships in WWI and WWII, built the interstate highway system spanning the United States, the Mackinac Bridge, and even products that are used daily including toothpaste.

This compelling story relates the historical impact of the limestone quarry within the region and the nation spanning 100 years. It is told through the eyes of a historian/author, a professional paleontologist, subject matter experts, plant retirees spanning 70 years worth of stories, and selected digitized stills from the “Calcite Collection” (a digitized collection consisting of 35,000 historical images dating from 1900-1985).

A Century in Stone includes segments of digitized footage from the two-time Emmy-award winning film, November Requiem, (a feature-length documentary about the sinking of the SS Carl D. Bradley and loss of the crew in 1958 with 23 men from Rogers City).

The documentary received full grant funding for production and post production phases through the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs mini-grant – Cheboygan Area Arts Council Regranting Agency, National Endowment for the Arts, the Michigan Humanities Council, National Endowment for the Humanities, and the United Communities Foundation serving Presque Isle County. 

For more information, please contact Anne Belanger at the Presque Isle District Library, 989-734-2477, ext. 241.

Art and Culture Important in Rogers City

Here is a great article from MLive about the economic impact of art and culture.

Michigan arts and culture generated more than $500 million in economic activity statewide in 2010

By Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk | jkaczmarczyk@mlive.com
on January 29, 2013 at 1:45 PM, updated January 29, 2013 at 2:10 PM
ArtPrize-2010-final-day.jpgCrowds line up outside the Grand Rapids Art Museum on the final day of ArtPrize 2010. Statewide that year, arts and cultural had an economic impact of $553 million dollars in Michigan. (MLive file photo)
GRAND RAPIDS, MI – How much is arts and culture worth to Michigan’s economy? More than $500 million in 2010 and growing, according to ArtServe Michigan.The Lansing-based advocacy agency has released its Creative State Michigan Report, one year after the first release of its Michigan Cultural Data Project.
Last year’s Creative State Michigan report determined arts and cultural activity statewide contributed to more than $462 million in direct expenditures, such as rent, programs, travel and salaries in 2009
This year’s update, released on Monday, determined that contributions from arts to the state’s economy rose to over $553 million in 2010, according to ArtServe Michigan.
The new report surveys data from 346 non-profit arts and cultural organizations, approximately 17 percent of more than 2,000 groups operating in Michigan, up from last year’s data from 211 non-profit groups, roughly 10 percent of museums, theater companies, symphony orchestras, dance troupes and more in the state.
Of the $553 million in annual expenditures by the creative community in 2010, nearly $194 million supported salaries for 22,335 jobs.
Jobs increased by 11 percent in those organizations and rose in all arts-related businesses by 16 percent in 2010-11.
In fact, over the five years from 2006-2011, the number of jobs arts-related jobs rose 15 percent and all arts-related businesses increased by 65 percent, bucking the economic downturn in Michigan and the United States.
"Arts and culture are major contributors to our state's economy – creating jobs and local spending, fueling tourism, and shaping vibrant cities attracting talent and business," said Jennifer Goulet, president and CEO of ArtServe. "This report reinforces the creative economy as a valuable asset and strategic economic investment for Michigan."
Arts and cultural destinations also generated more than $2 billion toward state tourism revenues in 2011 – 16 percent of state totals, and more than golf, boating/sailing, hunting/fishing and hiking/biking combined.
In 2009, more than 1.8 million school children participated in arts and cultural experiences. In 2010, more than 2.7 million students benefited from educational programs at arts and cultural venues that hosted 26,515 youth and school group visits and 1,135 in-school programs.
Cultural groups reported more than 15.7 million visits in 2010, 54 percent of which were free of charge. Average ticket prices in 2010 were $5.85 for children, $17.25 for adults, among the 346 organizations surveyed.
Data for the Creative State Michigan reports comes from the Michigan Cultural Data Project, one of 13 operating in 12 states and the District of Columbia, surveying nearly 14,000 arts and cultural organizations across the nation.
Data also comes from other sources including Americans for the Arts and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation/Pure Michigan.
E-mail Jeffrey Kaczmarczyk: jkaczmarczyk@mlive.com
Subscribe to his Facebook page or follow him on Twitter @ArtsWriter

Rogers City is working to increase the art and culture available in our community both for the economic value and for the intrinsic value and social benefit..  There are several projects in work, including "Art Travels Here," "The Calacite Landmark," and others..  If you have comments or suggestions, please let me know.

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Master Plan Scope Of Services

The City of Rogers City is beginning a Master Plan Update process.  The City is working with the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) to complete the process.  The scope of services document below describes what NEMCOG and the City will do to accomplish the plan update.  Your comments and input are welcome.

Here is the text of NEMCOG's scope of services document:

Rogers City Master Plan Update

Scope of Services

January 16, 2013

Total Cost: Not to exceed $11,035
This project will be completed under the current Rogers City Planning Services Contract dated
9/17/12. The Northeast Michigan Council of Governments (NEMCOG) will work with Rogers
City to update the 2006 Master Plan.

The Master Plan Update Process:

1.     Notification

State planning statutes require the notification of adjacent townships, counties, cities, villages and
any registered utilities or agencies prior to beginning work on a plan. Rogers City will complete this task.

2.    Master Plan Subcommittee

A subcommittee of the Planning Commission will be utilized to assist with the update process. The
subcommittee will consist of three members of the Planning Commission and the Zoning Administrator.

 3.    Background Chapter Update

NEMCOG will update the background chapters including Introduction, Natural Resources, Social
and Economic Characteristics, and Existing Land Use.

4.     Development of Public Input Survey

NEMCOG will develop a public input survey to be conducted online.

5.     Meeting 1

NEMCOG will meet with the subcommittee to review background chapters and public input survey draft.

6.     Public Input Survey

The survey will be available online and will remain online for at least one month.

7.     Develop a Master Street Plan

8.     Update of Goals/Objectives, Future Land Use, and Implementation and Adoption Chapters

NEMCOG will analyze survey results and update the Goals and Objectives and Future Land Use based on the
survey results.

9.     Meeting 2:  NEMCOG will meet with the subcommittee to review draft Goals and Objectives and Future
         Land Use.

10.   Meeting 3: If Needed

 Time is being reserved for a third possible meeting with either the Master Plan Sub-Committee or
 Planning Commission.

11.   Scope of the sustainability Component of the Master Plan

NEMCOG (Richard Deuell) through an alternative funding source and at no additional cost to the City will:
a.  Hold a workshop with the Planning Commission to present concepts on sustainability and
identify sustainability policies the community will incorporate into their Master Plan.
b.  Evaluate effectiveness of current goals and future land use to address chosen sustainability policies.
c.   Incorporate additional concepts into goals and future land use plan.

12.   Planning Commission Review and Approval of Draft

 Planning Commission reviews draft plan and transmits draft to City Council.

13.   City Council Approves for Distribution

 City Council approves the draft for distribution to required recipients.

14.   Distribution of Draft

 Draft plan is sent to required recipients. Rogers City will complete this task.

15.   Comment Period

 63-day waiting period commences.

16.   Public Hearing

Planning Commission holds public hearing on draft plan. Planning Commission makes changes or responds
to comments. Planning Commission approves plan.

17.   Distribution

Plan is sent to required recipients. Rogers City will complete this task.

Updates to be made to the Master Plan

Minor changes to chapter
Natural Resources
Minor changes to chapter, including maps and graphics
Social and Economic Characteristics
Update demographics, housing and economic data
Community Services and Facilities
Minor changes to chapter, including maps and graphics
Existing Land Use
Update chapter, including maps and graphics
Community Goals and Objectives
Review goals and objectives to identify which have been accomplished, evaluate relevance of remaining items and determine if new goals and objectives are required.  Update chapter with information gathered during public input session or survey.
Future Land Use Plan
Examine future land use plan to determine if categories and areas still meet the needs of the community. Update chapter with information gathered during public input session or survey
Implementation and Adoption
Add Zoning Plan*
Include record of the approval process, such legal transmittals, public notice and minutes

Products: NEMCOG

NEMCOG will provide digital draft copies of each plan element as they are updated and completed. 
NEMCOG will create and tabulate a survey to gather input from City residents.  NEMCOG will assist
 the City in developing a Master Street Plan. NEMCOG (Richard Deuell) will incorporate sustainability
concepts and goals into the Master Plan. NEMCOG will post draft sections and the final document on
its web site.  After the public hearing and plan adoption, copies of the final approved Master Plan,
in digital format, will be provided to the City. NEMCOG will assist the City in setting up and conducting
the legally required public hearings on the Master Plan; including preparation of legal notices.
Rogers City will be responsible for publishing the legal notices. Rogers City will hold the hearing and
will answer any questions or concerns raised by local officials or the public. One set of revisions
to incorporate changes requested at the public hearing will be completed.

Services to be provided by Rogers City for Master Plan Preparation

Rogers City will prepare and mail the required Notice of Intent to Prepare a Master Plan
to required recipients. Rogers City will make available, free of charge, all existing information
pertinent to the planning process.  This will include city maps, reports, data on local building
activities, any file information on the social or economic conditions within the city, any
information concerning existing public services and facilities, and other existing file material
related to plan preparation. The Rogers City Master Plan Sub-Committee also agrees to provide
input and guidance throughout the master planning process. This approach will work towards
identifying community concerns or controversy at the earliest possible stage. The Rogers City
Master Plan Sub-Committee also agrees to provide assistance with the parcel by parcel
classification of existing land use. Rogers City agrees to pay for publication of all required legal


The Master Plan will be completed within the timeframe specified in the 2013 Coastal Zone
Management Grant Contract.

Note: If Rogers City requests work activities outside this scope, there would be additional charges, based on time and materials expended by NEMCOG staff. The additional charges would be determined and agreed upon, prior to NEMCOG proceeding with the expanded scope. Also, cost for additional meetings requested by the City, not including the three (3) meetings identified in this proposal will be $400 per meeting.

Monday, January 28, 2013

More News About Job Growth

Below is an article from The Detroit News.  It confirms that  potential for significant job growth appears to be real in Michigan.  2013 is off to a great start with the announcement of many major new projects state-wide.  We have our own great new project in Rogers City thanks to Tom Moran and Moran Iron Works.  Will Moran Iron be able to find the talented work force needed to achieve their goals?  In the end, it is a healthy combination of individuals and organizations that make success. I like the idea of working in partnership with our unions.  I hope that Rogers City will continue its long tradition of having great relationships with our local chapters of the AFSCME and POLC unions. 
We are all in this together.

January 28, 2013 at 1:00 am

Michigan could win many jobs in 2013

By Rob Fowler

Greater economic growth in Michigan is at the top of the business community's wish list and should be for job-seekers as well. The potential for job creation here is great, judging from the surge in entrepreneurial activity in recent years. Our challenge will be to keep that momentum going and reshaping Michigan's investment image.
The attacks on the improvements in our business environment in the 2012 elections illustrate that economic backsliding is still possible. We are concerned about maintaining the pro-innovation progress of the past few years. Making Michigan more entrepreneur-friendly is different from making it "business-friendly."
We applaud Gov. Rick Snyder and legislative leaders for the most pro-growth reforms by a governor and Legislature in the past 50 years. We appreciate their embracing of SBAM's concept of "economic gardening" — an economic development philosophy focused on cultivating and nourishing our own homegrown business operations. Economic gardening depends not just on business-friendly rules and regulations, but on a whole range of cultural and educational attributes as well.
States that have successfully improved their economies don't depend on any one "magic bullet." Instead, they support education, infrastructure improvement, protection of natural resources and they foster a culture of risk-taking and innovation.
Our future lies in building on the accomplishments of the past two years and strengthening our entrepreneurial foundation. I welcome a conversation with our unions to explore their role in promoting entrepreneurship and job growth. We need to enhance collaborative opportunities among state/local governments, our educational institutions and our rapidly-growing investment community.

Rob Fowler,  President, Small Business Association of Michigan

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130128/OPINION01/301280312#ixzz2JHkKrVwo

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Rental Housing Assistance

Northeast Michigan Community Services Agency, Inc.
How do I apply for NEMCSA rental housing assistance?
All applicants MUST be prescreened by contacting:
Local (989) 358-4678 or Toll-free 1-866-484-7077 Ext 278
What types of questions will I be asked when I call NEMCSA?
1. What county are you residing in?
2. What type of assistance are you requesting?
3. What led to your current situation?
4. Have you requested this assistance from any other agency such as the Department of Human Services (DHS)?
5. If you already requested assistance from DHS and were denied, do you have a DHS Decision Notice?
6. How many adults and children in your household?
7. What type and how much is your household income (including all household members)? You will be asked to provide verification.
All of the programs that are available have specific eligibility criteria and paperwork that MUST be completed prior to ANY assistance this is given by our agency. No exceptions
NEMCSA does not discriminate based on religion, race, color, national origin, age, sex, marital status, familial status, or disability.

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Moran Project News

Here is an article from the Detroit News, announcing Moran Iron's plans to invest $16 million to expand operations in Rogers City and Onaway.  I could not be more delighted!

January 23, 2013 at 3:35 pm

Companies to invest $1.1 billion in Michigan projects, creating 4,590 jobs

The Michigan Strategic Fund on Wednesday approved incentives for 14 projects across the state in which the companies plan to invest $1.1 billion and create 4,590 jobs. (The Detroit News)
The Michigan Strategic Fund on Wednesday approved incentives for 14 projects across the state in which the companies plan to invest $1.1 billion and create 4,590 jobs.
The investments include several from automotive suppliers who are expanding operations; a dairy farm; Whirlpool Corp. relocating work from Indiana to Battle Creek; an expansion by a company that makes prescriptions and infant formulas on the state's west side; and the renovation of the historic David Whitney building in Detroit.
"It's great to see companies really wanting to expand in our state," Gov. Rick Snyder said in a telephone interview Wednesday, adding the investments and new jobs stretch from northern Michigan to Benton Harbor and Holland to Detroit.
Snyder credited recent tax and regulatory reforms in the state, plus a talented workforce as aiding companies' willingness to invest and expand in Michigan.
"We've just created a great environment," he said. "Michigan is coming back strongly."
Lear Corp. subsidiary Integrated Manufacturing and Assembly, which makes auto seating components, plans to expand in an existing facility in Detroit and also open a new facility in the city, spending $13.85 million and adding 755 new jobs. The company received a $3 million Michigan Business Development Program grant for the project and Detroit is considering a 12-year tax abatement for the existing plant worth more than $942,000.
Southfield-based Lear also plans to invest $18.75 million at its plant in Highland Park, creating 334 new jobs.
Whirlpool wants to invest $18.9 million and move its refrigeration research and development offices from Evansville, Ind., into a former Whirlpool manufacturing plant in Benton Harbor, creating 180 new jobs in Michigan. The Michigan Economic Development Corp. says Whirlpool chose Michigan over sites in Iowa and Mexico, as it secured a $2.4 million state grant. The appliance company also is being offered a $1.85 million, 12-year tax abatement from Benton Harbor.
Other planned projects:
— Cosma International, a subsidiary of Magna International, plans to invest $162 million and open an auto castings components and systems plant in Battle Creek. That plant is expected to create up to 572 jobs.
— Auto supplier Denso International America Inc. last week announced plans to invest more than $150 million and create 440 jobs by expanding a research and development center in Southfield and a manufacturing plant in Battle Creek.
— Fair Oaks Farms Brands Inc., a cooperative owned by Midwest dairy farmers, plans to spend $127 million to build a new facility in Coopersville to make enhanced milk products. The project is expected to create 133 jobs.
— Magna International's Norplas Industries Inc. division plans to invest $81.75 million to open a robotic paint line and injection molding operation in Delta Township, and open a facility for assembly and sequencing front-end modules in Brownstown Township. The projects are expected to create 658 jobs.
Moran Iron Works Inc., a custom fabricating company, plans to invest $16.2 million to expand its facility in Onaway and build a dock and make improvements at a facility in Rogers City. The project is expected to create 75 jobs.
— Rigaku Innovative Technologies Inc., which makes high-tech optical products, wants to expand into other industries and grow its research and development operations in Auburn Hills. It plans to invest $55.7 million and create 27 jobs.
— Auto supplier Van-Rob Inc. and subsidiaries such as Lenawee Stamping Corp., are considering adding new work at a facility in Tecumseh, in addition to a new facility in Michigan. It plans to invest $30.7 million and create 530 jobs.
— Whitney Partners LLC has received a $1 million grant and $7.5 million performance-based loan to redevelop the David Whitney building in Detroit. The project is expected to create 75 full-time jobs and includes $82.5 million in investment.
Snyder said the investments by so many auto suppliers is a testament to the industry's recovery. He said many suppliers are again concentrating in Michigan.
"There is an awful lot in here that's automotive, but there are home appliance jobs, pharmaceutical, high-tech optical and agriculture," said Mike Finney, president and CEO of the MEDC. "That really speaks to the diversity of the projects."
Finney said some of the projects have been in the approval pipeline for a month, while others as long as a year.
The Michigan Strategic Fund, a board promoting economic development and job creation in the state, also amended a Michigan Economic Growth Authority (MEGA) for Detroit Diesel Corp. subsidiary Axle Alliance. That will allow the company to increase the number of new jobs as part of its tax credit from 215 to 419. The company last year announced it was investing $120 million into its Redford Township manufacturing plant and adding 115 jobs. The MEDC said the company was adding 204 jobs.
The board also amended prescription medication and infant formula manufacturer Perrigo Co.'s MEGA tax credit from 400 new jobs to 1,050 new jobs. The company is planning to invest $242 million and create 650 new jobs, as it adds equipment at an Allegan site and opens a new facility in Holland Township to support its over-the-counter business.
(313) 222-2319

From The Detroit News: http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130123/BIZ/301230422#ixzz2IpvY9cxv

Friday, January 18, 2013

Trails for Rogers City

Sometimes doing a simple thing is difficult.  Take walking and biking trails for example.  It is well documented that having a well connected system of trails in any community is a plus for everyone.  It increases property value, it provides for recreation, it allows people easy access to nature, it is beautiful to walk a trail, and it provides a less expensive transportation alternative.  Yet, even with all these positive features, low cost trail development is often attacked by local residents as unwanted and unnecessary.  Here is a nice article from DNR about trails in Michigan:

Help shape future of Michigan’s trails

Michigan’s outdoor recreation resources are significant and diverse, including a collection of over 12,000 far-reaching miles of trails that are drawing a growing number of users, from off-road vehicle enthusiasts and snowmobilers to equestrians, hikers, bikers and cross-country skiers.

Now, as part of developing a broad plan to guide the growth and care of Michigan’s motorized, non-motorized and water trails, the Department of Natural Resources (DNR) is turning to the state’s trail users for help.

The DNR is asking the public to review the draft Michigan Comprehensive Trails Plan – available at www.michigan.gov/stateparks – and give feedback on any aspect of the plan by completing the survey (available on the same Web page) by Jan. 25, 2013.

“Our goal is to make sure we receive a broad range of input from Michigan trail users to ensure our vast trail system is sustainable and relevant for the future,” said DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson.

“Michigan is home to a vast and varied trail system,” Olson added. “Our goal is to provide a consistent, quality resource that best meets the needs of the steadily increasing number and variety of trail users.”

Fortunately, the DNR has an extensive network of partners who care deeply about and are invested in the future of Michigan’s trail system and who, over the years, have helped make possible many trail-related acquisition and development projects.

The Michigan Snowmobile and Trails Advisory Council (MSTAC) is charged with the responsibility to review and recommend a trail plan for the state. The origin of this draft plan is Public Act 45 of 2010, which stated the DNR and MSTAC work together to establish such a plan for a statewide trail network.

The plan will result in guiding the DNR and the MSTAC toward establishing Michigan as the nation’s Trail State. When finalized and implemented, this plan will create a trail system that:

  • Is sufficient in quantity and quality and takes into account the full spectrum of trail users;
  • Has sustainable funding resources for proper maintenance of existing trails, as well as for expansion to meet user and community needs;
  • Makes every home in the state a trailhead, because the network provides close-to-home opportunities for transportation, healthful exercise, recreation and an enhanced sense of place; and
  • Provides connections to parks, urban centers and cultural and conservation areas.
Olson said that one of the plan’s key aspects is recognizing that successful trail planning and implementation should be coordinated among all levels of government: local, regional and state. Additionally, the DNR and MSTAC seek to effectively integrate the development, maintenance and promotion of a statewide trail network through units of government, the private sector and nonprofit organizations.

Currently, Michigan’s trail system includes:
  • 6,407 miles of snowmobile trails;
  • 3,627 miles of ORV trails;
  • 2,623 miles of rail-trails – the most in the nation;
  • 560 miles of forest looped trails;
  • 900 miles of state park trails; and
  • 590 miles of designated equestrian trails (including the 300-mile Shore to Shore Riding Trail).
In addition, Olson said that in June 2011 the U.S. Department of the Interior designated the first National Water Trail on Lake Michigan – a 75-mile stretch from Chicago, Illinois to New Buffalo, Mich. The goal is to work collaboratively to expand Michigan’s water trail system, with the state’s vast network of waterways.

The DNR is also at work on Michigan Heritage Water Trails, an initiative to connect communities using navigable waterways with the first designated trail – the River Country Heritage Water Trail in St. Joseph County.

“No matter where you want to go in Michigan, we want to give you a beautiful, scenic way to get there,” Olson said. “Monitoring and evolving the state’s trail system will also contribute to the state’s tourism economy on a year-round basis.”

Michigan residents indicated in a March 2009 survey by Michigan State University Institute for Public Policy and Social Research (State of the State Survey 2022-51) that trails and parks were ranked sixth in importance in driving the state’s economic recovery, behind only the auto industry, renewable energy, agriculture, tourism and attracting people from other states.

The draft Michigan Comprehensive Trail Plan can be found on the www.michigan.gov/stateparks Web page for review and public comment.

Editor’s note: Photos are available for download at www.michigandnr.com//ftp/OutReach/ (in the folder marked Trails 13). Captions to accompany those photos follow.

Blogger's note:  Please support the effort to expand our trail system in Rogers City and connect it to the large Northeast Michigan State Trail System.  It will be good for everyone!

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