The Northwest Michigan Council of Governments would like to announce the Regional Prosperity Initiative, a regional planning process for the ten-county Northwest Michigan region of Antrim, Benzie, Charlevoix, Emmet, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, Manistee, Missaukee, and Wexford counties, as initiated by Governor Snyder and signed into law as a part of the FY 2014 budget (59 PA 2013.
The Regional Prosperity Initiative encourages local private, public and non-profit partners to identify regionally aligned growth and investment strategies for Lansing to support, not the other way around. Michigan’s RPI provides the framework for all state departments to share common service areas and support individual regional prosperity plans. Bottom-line is that the RPI is focused on streamlining state services and highlighting the regionally defined goals and strategies that will further our region’s success. A map of Michigan’s Prosperity Regions and more information about the program can be found at: www.michigan.gov/regionalprosperity.
As part of the statewide Regional Prosperity Initiative, the NWMCOG is working with the ten-county Northwest Michigan region to develop resources and tools for local decision makers as they also work to create more opportunities for investment in their communities. The common denominator for all regions across the state will be the development of a “regional prosperity plan.” Locally, the regional prosperity planning process is being called, “Framework for Our Future: A Regional Prosperity Plan for Northwest Michigan.” This resource will provide information, tools, and step-by-step action guides for local governments, business leaders, nonprofits, and other organizations seeking resources for communities wishing to connect to larger, more regional goals. However, the NWMCOG’s Regional Prosperity Plan is not a state mandate, nor does it supersede any local government decision-making…your community’s participation is 100% voluntary.
Opportunities to participate in the process include:
· Strategy work sessions throughout the region in April and May to share information on the Regional Prosperity Initiative and to discuss ideas for regional actions and solutions to common issues. Dates, locations, and other details for these events are included on the attached flyer.
· Online discussion groups, surveys, and polls on the Regional Prosperity Plan and related community issues are available via an interactive online public forum, called “Let’s Decide How.” Discussions are open to all interested citizens at www.letsdecidehow.org.
· A draft of this region’s regional prosperity plan will be made available for review and comment to all stakeholders this summer.
· For more information on each of the above, please see the attached flyer or visit www.nwm.org/rpi.
As your local RPI contact, the NWMCOG will continue to provide updates and announcements to all stakeholders as the project moves forward. If you have questions about the state program or the local process, please contact Matt McCauley, Director of Regional Planning, at 231-929-5000, or via email at mcca...@nwm.cog.mi.us.
We look forward to your participation and input in this process!
Sarah Lucas, AICP
Regional Planning Program Manager
Northwest Michigan Council of Governments
PO Box 506
Traverse City, MI 49684
Phone: (231) 929-5034
Fax: (231) 929-5012