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WUPPDR Announces Microgrant Awards to 7 Western U.P. Municipalities

The Western Upper Peninsula Planning and Development Region (WUPPDR), based in Houghton, today announced that its 2016 Placemaking Microgrant Program has awarded funding to seven municipalities in its sixcounty Western U.P. region.

The agency, which hosted a public informational session on placemaking in May, funded the project-oriented program via the State of Michigan’s 2016 Regional Prosperity Initiative (RPI).

The 2016 WUPPDR RPI Microgrant awards, including project title, municipality and grant amount, are:
 “Welcome to Bergland” Signage (three signs), Bergland Township, $1500
 Driving Park Ball Field Signage (two signs), City of Hancock, $1500
 Live Finnish-American Music at the Tori (Farmers’ Market), Hancock Finnish Theme Committee, $3000
 Support for Downtown Farmers’ Market, City of Houghton, $3000
 Support for Downtown Art Park, City of Ironwood, $3000
 Downtown Pocket Park Development, Village of L’Anse, $3000
 Downtown Pocket Park Augmentation, Village of Ontonagon, $3000

Total WUPPDR Outlay: $18,000

A pocket park is a small, publicly accessible park, usually found in a downtown area.

Ontonagon Village Manager Joe Erickson, whose proposal earned one of the project awards, detailed his pleasure at the award during a recent WUPPDR RPI update.

“We’re partnering with (Aspirus) Hospital and our local group at
Copper Country Mental Health to accomplish some positive space downtown. We have a big, blank wall that has space for murals or other artwork on two sides,” Erickson noted.

“This is a great first step in revitalizing our downtown, and will promote a walkable corridor from downtown to our parking area and back.”

Founded in 1968, WUPPDR is one of 14 State of Michigan designated planning regions, serving the six counties (Baraga, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw, Ontonagon) within the Western Upper Peninsula.

The agency’s chief role is to foster stable and diversified economies in the Western Upper Peninsula. Through this role and RPI, WUPPDR enhances intergovernmental coordination and encourages opportunities for public comment on projects of regional significance.

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