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City seeks plan input

September 21, 2012
Steve Schulwitz - News Staff Writer , The Alpena News

ALPENA - The next step in updating the City of Alpena's comprehensive plan is under way and it is going to take the cooperation of residents to provide the city the necessary information it needs to complete the task.

A survey asking residents' opinions on a list of items concerning the city is available for people to take. At the end of October the Northeast Michigan Council of Governments will tally the surveys and forward the findings back to the Alpena Planning Commission, which could make further modifications to the plan if a clear idea is shared by the people. The comprehensive plan outlines future plans and goals of the city is required to be updated about every five years. the planning commission already has sifted through it and recommended some modifications, but interim City Manager Greg Sundin said now is the time for the public to weigh in.

"The comprehensive plan itself is a public document, so we need to see what the citizens may be thinking," Sundin said. "It is about 70 questions and will take about 15 to 20 minutes to complete. It is available on the city's website, or printed versions are available at the library or at city hall on the front desk. The deadline is going to be the end of October, so we want to have them all submitted by then."

Alpena County also is using NEMGOG to help update its master plan and a survey is available for residents to share thoughts on the county as well. Sundin said to make it convenient for everyone the city's website will have links to the county survey, as well as its own, and the county also will have a link to the city's.

"Would encourage people who may live outside of the city, but maybe work here or spend a lot of time here to fill out the survey. It may be geared to the citizens of Alpena, but we do want to get as many thoughts and ideas as possible," Sundin said. "I believe the people of Alpena can also take part in the county's survey, after all the city is in the county, so you really could do both."

The city's survey will contain questions about everything having to do with Alpena. After the surveys are sorted the plan gets reviewed on final time before going before Alpena Municipal Council.

"We want opinions on a wide variety of subjects, like Alpena's services, the direction of economic development, housing, waterfront, downtown and just focusing on things of this sort," Sundin said. "After NEMCOG is done it will be taken back to the planning commission and then they will make any late changes if needed, then it will go to the council for final approval."

The surveys can be completed by logging into the city's website at or on the county's domain at

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via e-mail at or by phone at 358-5689.



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