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CONTACT: Matt Bach
Saginaw Wins Region 4 Community Excellence Nomination
Community Now in Running for Statewide Michigan Municipal League Honor
DeWitt, Michigan (May 20, 2010) – A Saginaw recycling program that dramatically reduced landfill waste in just two months, was selected Wednesday as a regional finalist in a statewide competition that recognizes outstanding community services, projects and programs. The program was initiated by City of Saginaw employees, and is run by an interdepartmental team of committed employees.
Saginaw won the peer-selected honor in a spirited regional competition May 19 in DeWitt. It will now compete for the statewide Community Excellence Award that will be announced during the Michigan Municipal League’s Annual Convention Sept. 21-24, 2010, in Dearborn. The honor, in a competition called “Race for the Cup”, comes with a large cup-shaped trophy that the winning community gets to keep for a year. Saginaw's program helps reduce disposal cost by reducing the amount of waste, protecting the environment and conserving natural resources. In just two months, the program reduced the amount of waste product that goes into a landfill by 6 tons, city leaders said.
Saginaw Firefighter Tyrone Harge, the team's spokesperson, said the program has wide applicability to other Michigan municipalities, and a tiny start-up cost: just $700. The team is very proud of its accomplishments which amount to saving 69 trees and 16,360 kilowatts of electricity to date.
The other Region 4 finalist was the City of DeWitt for its "All Kids Playground," an effort that provides a fun and full playground experience to users of abilities.
“Both of the nominations were excellent, but I especially liked how they each represented a different asset that make for a viable community,” said League President Jeff Jenks. Jenks explained the League has identified eight assets that make strong communities. The Saginaw nomination represented green initiatives and the DeWitt playground project represented designing to enhance the quality of life in a community.
Mid-Michigan communities represented at the Region 4 meeting May 19 were the cities of AuGres, DeWitt, Ithaca, Laingsburg, Mount Pleasant, Owosso, and Saginaw. The League’s Region 4 includes the counties of Arenac, Bay, Clare, Clinton, Gladwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw, Shiawassee.
Other regional nominees selected so far include the City of Monroe (Region 1) for a National Park project, the City of St. Ignace (Region 7) for a new bus terminal.
Photo caption: Accepting the Region 4 Community Excellence Award from League Board President Jeff Jenks (center) are Linda Armintrout (left), property appraisal; Saginaw Fire Captain Tyrone Harge; Jenks; Evelyn McGovern, Secretary; and Jennifer Tafel, Legal Assistant.
The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.