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Press Release

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


Ontonagon Showcased for Community Excellence

Village’s Complete Streets Recognized at Statewide Conference

LANSING, Michigan – The village of Ontonagon was among 27 communities showcased on April 9 at the 2013 Michigan Municipal League Community Excellence Award (CEA) competition during the League’s 2013 Capital Conference in Lansing.

Ontonagon’s Complete Streets initiative was one of three presentations at the League’s Region 7 Roundtable meeting, which includes all communities in the upper peninsula. The winning entry from Region 7 was Ironwood’s Depot Park project. The other nomination was Sault Ste. Marie’s Historic Water Street work.

Ontonagon launched the initiative last April, when Ontonagon Village Manager Joseph Erickson and Councilmember Tony Smydra attended a Regional Interagency Consumer Committee (RICC) meeting at Copper Country Mental Health, where the village was asked to adopt a Complete Streets policy. The village council adopted its Complete Streets resolution in May of 2012. Village streets were prioritized for paving projects in 2013. The selected streets were reviewed under the state’s Complete Streets criteria, designed for increasing accessibility for all users, from pedestrians and bicyclists to mass transit users and those with physical disabilities. Two blocks of Quartz Street were selected to include a paved non-motorized path for bicyclists and walkers. The council approved the street projects in June. The Quartz Street pathway will be completed in the summer of 2013 thanks in large part to the RICC, said Erickson.

The 27 communities participating in this year’s CEA competition are Region 1 (southeast Michigan): Eastpointe, Linden/Fenton/Holly; Grosse Pointe, New Baltimore, Plymouth, Rochester, and Westland; Region 2 (central and southwest Michigan): Albion, Baroda/Bridgman/Berrien Springs, South Haven and St. Joseph; Region 3 (central-west Michigan): Belding and Whitehall; Region 4 (mid-Michigan): DeWitt, Ithaca and Mt. Pleasant; Region 5 (the thumb): Harbor Beach, Imlay City and Lexington; Region 6 (northern portion of the lower peninsula): Rogers City; and Region 7 (upper peninsula): Ironwood, Ontonagon, and Sault Ste. Marie. The winners from each region will now go on to compete for the statewide CEA title during the League’s Annual Convention September 18-20 in Detroit. The seven regional winners are Linden/Fenton/Holly, St. Joseph, Belding, DeWitt, Imlay City, Rogers City, and Ironwood.

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 communities.

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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