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Press Release

Matt Bach, Director of Media Relations
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317;


St. Joseph Wins Region 2 Community Excellence Award

Silver Beach Development Project Now in Running for Statewide Honor in September



Accepting the Region 2 CEA Nomination from the City of St. Joseph are Frank Walsh, city manager; Deb Deja, city assessor; Derek Perry, director of public works; Susan So Lon, communications and marketing official; Bob Judd, mayor; Jill Stone, of St. Joseph Today; and Mike Garey, mayor pro-tem. For additional photos from the CEA competition go here.

LANSING, Michigan – The city of St. Joseph earned top honors as the Michigan Municipal League’s Region 2 Community Excellence Award (CEA) winner at the Michigan Municipal League’s 2013 Capital Conference in Lansing on Tuesday, April 9, 2013. The region includes all communities in the south-central and southwestern portions of the Lower Peninsula.

The city won for its Silver Beach development project. For many decades vacant property and antiquated industrial buildings dotted the city’s lakefront. In 2006, the Silver Beach Committee was formed to acquire the property and create a “wow” factor. On January 2, 2010, after seven years of planning and fundraising, the community christened Silver Beach, which includes the Silver Beach Carousel, the Curious Kids’ Discovery Zone and Michigan’s largest interactive water fountain. Thanks to the generosity of the community, Whirlpool and several local families, more than $8.2 million was raised to privately fund the project. Today, Silver Beach Center is a mecca for tourists and local residents who want to create memories.

“We are really pleased for the recognition of the hard work that our community came together and created a really great design for not only our community, but for the whole region and for the people around to come and visit,” said St. Joseph Mayor Robert Judd. “This project makes our community a better place to live, work and play.”

St. Joseph competed for the Region 2 title against three other projects: South Haven’s Kal Haven Trail Extension and Williams Street reconstruction project; Albion’s Crowell School; and the 3B’s Agri-Tourism Ignition Effort jointly submitted by the communities of Bridgman, Baroda, and Berrien Springs.

St. Joseph’s entry will now go on to compete against the other six regional winners for the statewide CEA at the League’s Annual Convention Sept. 17-20, 2013, in Detroit. The CEA program, affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships. St. Joseph’s Community Art Project also won the award in the inaugural year of the CEA competition.

For additional details contact Matt Bach, director of media relations for the Michigan Municipal League, at (734) 669-6317 or

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.



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