Page 7 - Upper Peninsula Business Today -- December 2018
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50 Years of Progress: EUP Regional Planning & Development Celebrates Golden Anniversary
Sault Ste. Marie Restaurant Week
Sault Ste. Marie has been celebrating its grow- ing “foodie” culture by hosting Restaurant Week for the past few years. This year Sault Ste. Marie Restaurant Week returns for the holiday season, featuring seven amazing local restaurants (details can be found at
Sault Ste. Marie Restaurant Week features local fare at its finest, and at set price points; lunches are available at many of the locations, and three- course dinners are featured each evening.
This year, three terrific sponsors have under- written Restaurant Week to assist in growing the event. C.S. Mulder Funeral Home, located on M-129 and Five Mile in Sault Ste. Marie, is spon- soring the event because of their commitment to the community. Owners Clint and Spring Mul- der expressed their enthusiasm in supporting local restaurants as they expand their food options for Restaurant Week, express their cre- ativity, and showcase their chefs’ cooking capa- bilities.
Smith & Company is also sponsoring Restau- rant Week; owner Fred Smith and the Smith & Company team of realtors are terrific supporters of community events. Gordon Food Service is sponsoring Restaurant Week this year as well; their local store on the Business Spur services both wholesale and retail accounts.
This year’s Restaurant Week features the fol- lowing locations:
1668 Winery & Lockside Brewery – 100 W. Portage Avenue
Flannigan’s Goat – 107 E. Portage Avenue
Freighter’s Restaurant – 240 W. Portage Avenue
Karl’s Cuisine – 447 W. Portage Avenue Moloney’s Alley – 227 W. Portage Avenue The Palace Restaurant & Saloon – 200 W.
Portage Avenue
The Wicked Sister – 716 Ashmun Street
For more information on Restaurant Week or for questions or comments, please contact the Sault Ste. Marie Downtown Development Authority at 906.635.6973 or info@downtown-”
In 1968, when the median income for area residents was $5,649, leaders from Chippewa, Luce and Mackinac counties joined forces to form the Eastern Upper Peninsula Economic Development District. The personnel has changed and so has the name, but the goal of combining and harnessing the region’s resources to improve the area’s economic standing is still what drives EUP Regional Planning & Devel- opment Commission 50 years later.
In late October, area government and business leaders gathered to celebrate the organization’s golden anniversary. Jeff Hagan, EUPRPDC Chief Executive, welcomed participants to a trip down memory lane at a brief reception held in the SmartZone Building. Among attendees was John Campbell, the retired CEO that led the organization through the majority of its history, from 1973 - 2007.
Through conversation, presentation, and visual exhibits, attendees were reminded of what 50 years of progress looks like.
It was remarkable, for instance, that the organization was established in 1968 without foresight of the critical role it would play nine years later when Kincheloe Air Force Base closed and the region found itself in an economic tail- spin.
Take a look at any major infrastructure pro- grams in cities and townships over the past 50 years and it’s likely that EUPRPDC was a con- tributor in some fashion. Sewer systems, water lines, GIS development, master plans, zoning ordinances, and other important programs all have the fingerprints of planners and support staff from Regional Planning.
“A 50 year anniversary provides a unique opportunity to reflect on the impact an organi- zation has had and I’m proud to say that the staff members at EUP Regional Planning and Devel-
opment have made a substantial difference in the communities of our region,” Hagan said.
“The nature of the work of planners and developers is that residents often are unaware of who has a hand in developing their community. Planning not only contributes to well-run com- munities, but it also is the conduit to grant dol- lars and federal investment into a region,” he added.
Just in U.S. Economic Development Admin- istration (EDA) grants alone, the Eastern U.P. has garnered approximately $50 million to underwrite a long list of needed infrastructure improvements over five decades.
As important as the role of infrastructure is to a community, equally imperative is quality of life. That is why EUPRPDC administers the Michigan Council for the Arts and Cultural Affairs mini-grant program, awarding dollars to museums, history camps, concerts, festivals and other cultural undertakings.
Beyond the arts, EUPRPDC has found other ways to impact those things that make commu- nities more livable. As far back as the 1980s, the organization was conducting historic preserva- tion studies and completing recreation plans for a variety of communities. With the addition of GIS services, EUPRPDC was able to help com- munities map snowmobile trails, cross-country skiing pathways, and shorelines.
“Our GIS services have been an asset to all sorts of initiatives,” Hagan explained. “From mapping the frequency of car crash sites to map- ping sites of interest within Hiawatha National Forest, there is a wide variety of uses for this tech- nology.”
Since 2014, the organization has utilized a collaborative effort to create an annual Regional Prosperity Initiative in response to a grant opportunity from the State of Michigan. The
RPI program encourages local private, public and non-profit partners to work together in cre- ate vibrant economies. As a result of those grant dollars, area partners have been able to focus on transportation, broadband, retail, housing and technical education in ways not otherwise pos- sible.
Interestingly, the three-county population isn’t much different today as compared to 50 years ago. In 1968, there were 54,000 residents, while the 2017 measurement puts the popula- tion at 56,264. That’s not to say there weren’t dips, like in 1980 when tri-county residents numbered 45,800.
The population comparison may speak to the area’s resiliency, as it survived the closure of the Kincheloe AFB, as well as the Newberry Region- al Mental Health Center - two major drivers of employment. While State of Michigan invest- ment in prisons in the region account for some of that recovery, it was also the development of economic development agencies, the invest- ment of federal grant dollars, and a fair amount of “Yooper” tenacity is also credited with the region’s economic recovery and stability. Medi- an income today for the three-county area is $40,400.
“We are proud to say that EUP Regional Plan- ning and Development played a role as partner, collaborator, cheerleader, and friend to all of the groups and municipalities that make our com- munities what they are today,” Hagan remarked.
To reflect on other developments of the past 50 years, visit EUPRPDC’s Facebook page. More information about the organization’s work today can be found at www.eup-plan-
Cut Your Holiday Tree on the Hiawatha National Forest
Gladstone, MI - Did you know holiday trees are available for cutting on Hiawatha National Forest land? If you are one who likes the “thrill of the hunt” — the excitement of trudging through the snow in search of the perfect tree — then we have the perfect opportunity for you! For the price of a “tree tag” ($5) and a little sweat, you can cut your own tree from National Forest land! To obtain a permit, in the form of a “tree tag,” stop at your local Ranger District office beginning November 15. Along with your permit you will receive tree cutting guidelines, information regarding cutting areas, and sugges- tions for flame-proofing your tree.
If you buy a tree tag and cut your tree on the Hiawatha National Forest, we invite you to send us your favorite photo of your family’s tree-cut- ting outing via our Facebook page Photo Release forms are required and are avail- able at UMENTS/fseprd478711.pdf or at our District Offices. We’ll use the photos to create an online holiday tree-cutting photo album that we hope will add to the fun of cutting your tree and spread the idea of getting outdoors in the win- ter.
For more information about tree tags, contact one of the following US Forest Services. Call our offices Monday through Friday 8-4:30: Munis- ing (906) 387-2512; Rapid River (906) 474- 6442, or St. Ignace (906) 643-7900.
About the U.S. Forest Service
National Forest System lands provide 20 per- cent of America’s drinking water. The Forest Service manages 193 million acres of land and is the largest forestry research organization in the world. The mission of the U.S. Forest Service is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the nation’s forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. For more information, visit

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