Regional Prosperity Initiative Projects

For the 2018 RPI Application, the list of approved projects is as follows:

U.P. State Fairgrounds Economic Impact Study: The U.P. State Fair, held in Escanaba, MI since 1928, has grown into a major local and Regional event, bringing in thousands of visitors, vendors, and entertainers. Funding requested will be used to study the economic impact the U.P. State Fairgrounds (and its many events) has on the local and Regional economy. Based on an established process in Delta County, fairgoers will be surveyed and results sent to MSU for analysis.

Prosperous Places’ Mini-Grant Program: Building on the success of the previous efforts, CUPPAD will again encourage communities in each of the central six counties to invest in place making by offering a competitive grant program that will help create vibrant places where people want to live, work, and play. CUPPAD will use criteria created in 2016 for project selection as well as market and administer the grants. Grants will have a 1 to 1 match requirement.

Support for Economic Development Organizations: The RPI Council proposes to support economic development organizations in each of the central six counties. Funding will support each of the six county EDOs for Capacity Planning and Development and may be applied in the areas of small business development, arts and cultural interventions, and education, or other area important to developing technical capacities of the organization.  Capacity planning and development priorities include:

  • Small Business Startups: EDOs may apply Capacity Planning and Development funds to assist small business startups as long as entrepreneur has a vetted business plan approved by the EDO or SBDTC.
  • Arts, Culture & History: EDOs may apply Capacity Planning and Development funds for arts and culture related initiatives which may include leveraging place making arts and cultural related initiatives, art outreach, events, or festivals in the EDO’s respective county.
  • Education: EDOs may apply Capacity Planning and Development funds to spent on education in EDO’s respective community/county.
  • Other technical capacity enhancement: EDOs may apply Capacity Planning and Development funds to support capacity development relative to items supported in the Region 1B’s 10-year RPI plan and CEDS.

In addition to the above-mentioned funding support for Capacity Planning and Development that enhances or improves economic development in the area, County EDOs at their discretion may may direct funds to Downtown Development Authorities within their respective county for events, technical assistance, or professional development at the DDA level.

U.P. Health Strategies: Funding will be used to continue addressing regional collaboration among all hospitals in the U.P. brought about in part by The U.P. Health Strategies Initiative in 2014 to identify collective approaches to addressing U.P. -wide health concerns. This will be accomplished by hosting an additional Health Summit and maintaining the U.P. Health Strategies Website with additional communication methods.

Regional 911 GIS Updates: In 2012, all 15 U.P. Counties participated in a Statewide 911 Grant, utilizing federal funding, to update and correct 911 GIS road centerline data. The project was largely successful, resulting in datasets being brought up to 90%-95% complete and accurate. Since that time, maintenance of these road centerline datasets has plateaued for numerous reasons. With NextGen 911 and Smart 911 on the very near horizon, 911 PSAPs will need to start investing heavily in updating GIS data, both road centerlines and address point data. Address point data in the Region is mediocre at best, and will require several years of updates and field verification to correct.

UP North Trails: Michigan is known as “The Trail State,” and 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 Upper Peninsula as well. By 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.

Broadband Asset Mapping: When CUPPAD initiated a Broadband access survey in 2015, the results pointed to many underserved areas in our region still in need of broadband connectivity. Phase 2 of this activity will compile and present broadband assets, such as existing towers and other vertical assets, as they relates to population density and other factors which may be useful in determining demand for broadband.