Marquette Wins the Region 7 Competition:
Excellence Awards Race for the Cup”
The City of Marquette
recently won the regional Municipal League’s Community Excellence Awards Race
for the Cup. The League instituted the awards
program in 2008 to recognize municipalities that develop innovative projects or
programs that have a positive impact in their communities. The City of Marquette
won the Region 7 competition; Region 7 is comprised of the entire Upper Peninsula.
The City’s entry included a presentation on Marquette’s “reinvention”
of the downtown waterfront district. “In
early days, the waterfront was based on an industrial economy, with shipping
comprising a major portion of the area.
The community turned its back on the lake,” said Assistant City Manager
Karl Zueger, who made the presentation at an MML seminar in Calumet
on June 5th. He noted that
over the past ten years or so, the City made a concerted effort to reinvent
itself by purchasing land along Lake Superior,
redeveloping brownfields, and adding public green space to once inaccessible
land. “Through citizen participation and
community visioning sessions, the City has really recaptured part of our
heritage while also adding to the quality of life for our residents,” he said.
Zueger added, “The community has now created a unique
sense of place, the kind that draws and retains young talent, while also
attracting new service-based businesses at the same time.” The waterfront development has Marquette now realizing the vision it created long ago of
being the premiere livable, walkable winter City in North
America, Zueger said.
Representatives from MML agree. "Marquette's
leaders are clearly looking to the future with their vision for the community.
Their efforts should position them well in the global competition to attract
21st Century jobs and investment," said Dan Gilmartin, executive director
and CEO of the Michigan Municipal League.
The City of Marquette’s entry will move
forward to the statewide competition at the League’s annual convention in Kalamazoo September
22-25, 2009. Marquette
will be competing against Cadillac, Lexington, Mt. Pleasant,
Allegan, Lathrup Village
in the final round.