2019 Projects

The Central U.P. RPI Council will undertake the following projects in 2019:

Detailed Project Descriptions *Denotes similar project being undertaken by one other Region 1 sub-region – either WUP or EUP. **Denotes all three Region 1 sub-regions undertaking similar project. 

[Total funding for FY2019: $399,340] 

RPI Administration/General RPI: As the administrator and fiduciary of the RPI funds in Region 1B, CUPPAD will manage project implementation, meeting organization and facilitation, planning efforts to align projects with the 10-year plan. [Amount: $81,000]

**EDO Support: Support for the economic development organizations in each of the central six counties. The proposed $60,000 will have flexibility in its application and may be used for enhancing small business development, arts and cultural interventions, education, and assistance to Downtown Development Authorities or Downtown Business Associations. Unspent funds will become available for another EDO to apply for in the event some funding is unspent by December 2019. Leverage for this activity depends on the type of activity an EDO would apply it toward, such as capitalizing a DDA’s façade improvement program with a 1:1 match. However, it is understood that with increased organizational capacity comes a greater ability to leverage the skills and resources of the organization in the future. [Amount: $66,000]

**Prosperous Places Mini-Grant Program: CUPPAD will encourage communities in the central six counties to invest in placemaking by offering a competitive grant program that will help create vibrant places where people want to live, work, and play. CUPPAD will use criteria for project selection as well as marketing and administration of the grants. In 2017, Prosperous Places grants leveraged an estimated $120,000 match of cash and in-kind work, with 2018 projects still in progress. Grants will have a minimum 1:1 match. We also expect to leverage MSU National Charrette Institute’s Placemaking Training program as an incentive for building placemaking projects; allowing attendees to count their registration fee as match and giving preference to communities that have attended the program.  [Amount: $66,000]

*IncDev – Small Real Estate Developer Training and Capacity Building: Over 2019 the RPI Council, with the Western U.P. region, will employ the expertise of the Incremental Development Alliance to grow capacity of existing small scale real estate developers for the purposes of redeveloping properties in state and county land banks. Through this training program, municipalities and county land banks will receive in-depth technical assistance to remove barriers to implementation. The training will recruit 5-10 small developers in the region to receive project level assistance to activate land bank controlled properties. The Workshop’s curriculum teaches the strategy behind formulating a real estate project at the neighborhood scale, using the power of small incremental steps over time to achieve an economically healthy place. Funds will be leveraged with the Western U.P. region’s $10,000 for the same activity. [Amount: $10,000]

Triple Threat Economic Resiliency Strategy and Implementation Plan: Northern Michigan University, Lake Superior Community Partnership, UPWARD Talent Council, and CUPPAD propose to collaborate on the development of a EDA-funded recovery strategy that will consider major disruptions to the region’s economy, focusing on large employers in the mining and energy industries. The project partners propose to develop an economic resiliency strategy in the wake of the idling of the Empire Mine and future disruptions from the closure of the Presque Isle Power Plant and expected end life of the Eagle Mine. The strategy will assess the impacts from multiple perspectives, then propose a recovery strategy. The strategy will analyze industry clusters and skills to determine steps to adapt and grow in future growth industries. Funds for this project will be leveraged by seeking match funding from local and industry partners, as well as MDARD and U.S. Economic Development Administration grants. [Amount: $25,000]

**Up North Trails: This project will expand on the work that was already completed in Networks Northwest and NEMCOG in the Northern Lower Peninsula to map our state’s extensive trails to expand the technology to include the entirety of the U.P. as well. Using GIS data and integrating it into a single online platform will provide easy access to many in one convenient location. This project will include gathering data from local hiking groups, city, county, and state governments. The three U.P. regional planning organizations, founders of upnorthtrails.org, and local partners coordinated to inventory trails and add the Upper Peninsula’s trail systems to the website. Six regions are now working together on a campaign to promote this online resource. [Amount: $20,000]

**U.P. Beer Trail: Dozens of craft beer breweries and wineries have been established in the U.P. over the past decade and their popularity suggests the surging craft beverage movement is an important economic opportunity to capitalize on in the region. By developing coordinated marketing and a developing a face for the movement, we hope to grow recognition and familiarity for our both new and established breweries, wineries, and distilleries. The U.P. Craft Brew Trail is managed by a steering committee of breweries, the regional planning organization and economic developers in the Western U.P. and is looking to expand U.P.-wide. Resources for this project will help grow the reach of the initiative and enhance marketing efforts that are already underway. The craft brew trail complements existing efforts on natural resource trails through its marketing and will tie in to other local and regional efforts to promote some of the U.P.’s best assets. [Amount: $15,000]

Regional Housing Study – Target Market Analysis Update & Affordability Study: Housing stock, development, and affordability are issues across the Central region and better intelligence on conditions could be useful for developing a plan to meet the region’s changing housing needs. This study will focus on market rate and affordable housing needs across the Central UP region, with a focus on urbanized areas. Data from the 2016 Target Market Analyses will be updated and put into a more user-friendly and accessible format. The study will also determine the locations in the region where affordable housing is most needed. The project team anticipates applying for additional grant funds to support the development of this important project. [Amount: $20,000]

Building Sustainable Trails and Sustainable Economies: A four-season trail system is crucial for a sustainable, tourism-based economy. While some larger cities successfully promote their trail networks many smaller, local units of government would like to start, expand or improve a trail system but lack the expertise, labor or funding. The SWP Great Lakes Conservation Corps designs, builds and maintains trails and boardwalks for many local, state and federal landowners and trail organizations. RPI funding is requested to assist local communities, organizations and businesses with tourism-related trail projects during the 2019 field season. The Conservation Corps proposes to leverage $2,500 of its own staff time and materials to support the project. [Amount: $26,340]

Regional Integrated Asset Management System: CUPPAD planners, in coordination with the Western U.P. planning region and Michigan Tech will work together on a 5-step program for developing a comprehensive regional asset management system for the benefit of the Michigan Infrastructure Council.  Steps will include (1) a baseline survey and assessment of local capacities for asset management,  (2) working with a handful of selected communities from square one when it is clear capacity development is needed, (3) region-wide data collection and development of the integrated asset management system, (4) education for practical application and data collection methods for local implementer, and (5) development of a final report on 2019 asset management program activities. [Amount: $70,000]