4 local organizations make funding requests

News Photo by Steve Schulwitz Partners involved with Michigan Arts and Culture Northeast and the US-23 Heritage Route Tour celebrated with Alpena Municipal Council Monday after it was announced MACNE won the 2017 Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration. US-23 themed cupcakes were shared with council and people in the audience.

ALPENA — Four local organizations presented updates to Alpena Municipal Council Monday at the council regular meeting. Each one also made a funding request, which will be considered when budget workshops begin.

Michigan Arts and Culture Northeast President Tim Kuehnlein said the city’s contributions in the past have helped to make events possible and bring business to the area, particularly the US-23 Heritage Route Tour. He said a $5,000 allocation next fiscal year would continue to help the tour grow and lure more people to Northeast Michigan.

“We would like to continue to build our relationship with the city as we leverage more and more partners and art and culture communities of the region to the tour,” Kuehnlein said.

The Huron Undercover Narcotics Team, a four-county undercover drug task force, requested $15,252 for operations as well as to pay the wage of a full-time officer to work on the team. Commander Stuart Sharp said of the 163 investigations, 64 of them were in the city. Of the people arrested by HUNT, 78 of 160 were charged with crimes that took place in Alpena. The city allocated $14,902 for fiscal year 2015-16.

Alpena Area Chamber of Commerce Economic Development Director Jim Klarich told council that the investment it has made the last several years has gone to good use and signs of it can be seen in projects that already are finished and those that aren’t announced yet. He requested $40,000 for 2017-18, as it has received the last few years.

“I’m sure you agree our commitment to the improvement of the economic vitality of our region can be seen across the area on many levels,” Klarich said. “Our improving unemployment rates, announced and potential development opportunities and increases in investment are a byproduct of our philosophy, strategic objectives and organization’s activities. We believe these successes are just the beginning.”

In other business:

∫ Kuehnlein announced the US-23 Heritage Route Tour was awarded the 2017 Governor’s Award for Innovative Tourism Collaboration. Members of Michigan Arts and Culture Northeast were in Detroit to receive the award.

∫ City Engineer Rich Sullenger and Councilwoman Cindy Johnson shared details of a plan to make some small alterations to Culligan Plaza. Johnson has teamed up with Doug Pratt and the city to make some short-term changes to the park. There also are plans for more expansive modifications in the future.

∫ council voted to pay bills totaling $354,978.

∫ council voted to pass a resolution that allows the city to apply for a grant with the state with the funds being used to upgrade the city’s election hardware and software.

∫ council to accept a bid from Goodrich Trucking to do street resurfacing projects.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at sschulwitz@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews.