By: Benjamin J. Gohs, Associate Editor
Citizens, business owners and community leaders gathered on Thursday Jan. 12, to discuss the overall goals they would like to see achieved over the next couple of years in Boyne City.
Boyne City Manager Michael Cain opened the event with a rundown of the previous goal-setting session from a couple years ago and what type, if any, progress has been made on those goals.
“I look around with what I see as balanced growth – it hasn’t all happened in one sector,” he said of the highest priority, which was job creation and retention. “Overall, with what’s going on with the economy, I think we did fairly well with that.”
Cain said a number of new businesses have stayed, with several more businesses planning to open in the near future.
The Dilworth Hotel was a top priority and Cain said a lot of progress has been made, but there is much work yet to be done.
The Boyne Beach Club property, Cain said, has seen minor progress and so too has broadband access.
The DDA plan has been renewed and extended which, Cain said, helped set the tone for positive works in the area.
Determining what to do with the city facilities, Cain said, has seen some progress in the form of researching costs and locations.
“Non-motorized trails … I would put as significant progress,” he said. “We’ve also had a very active group … working on discussions on a trail system between Boyne City and Boyne Falls.”
Snowmobile trails, Cain said have seen little or no progress.
Cain said the Main Street Program award is one of numerous positive recognitions of overall good going on in Boyne City.
Cain said the commission has been consistently lowering taxes while maintaining services to the people of Boyne.
“Even with the declining revenues and these being really tight times, you’ve seen some major projects take place around town,” Cain said. “Complete reconstruction of Division Street from M-75 to Pleasant; you’ve seen the cemetery fence going up; you’ve seen the North East Street being completed; you saw the waterworks projects take on.”
He added, “So, lower tax rate, more efficiencies internally, more outgoing projects for the community, I think, is a good representation of what we have been able to do with the citizen’s resources.”
Cain said the city is doing all or more than it did in the early 2000s.
Alternative energy has seen little to no progress.
Cain also said the shoppers docks at One Water Street have allowed more tourist traffic into the area.
The 53 people in attendance broke into groups and identified what they deemed are the top few goals for Boyne City before those findings were presented to the attendees as a whole.
Approximately one-quarter of those in attendance were business owners.
Of those in attendance, nearly 50 percent attended the last goal-setting session.
The overall consensus of how Boyne City was progressing as a whole resulted with nearly 75 percent of the people feeling that Boyne is moving in the right direction.
Attendees were asked to compile lists of items upon which the city government could effect change.
Some of the top issues identified included:
- Technical education
- Family-supporting jobs
- Devlon – Boyne Beach Club
- Pet-friendly community/dog park
- Improve the drinking water
- Work at the city marina
- Broadband and ubiquitous wi-fi
- Technology infrastructure
- Clean-up Pearl Street to Main Street
- Snowmobile trails
- Upgrade city parks
- Lake Street redevelopment from the Sportsman to the Boyne Theater
- The Dilworth Hotel
- Improve the city complex
- Property value assessments
- Continue street improvements
- Economic development with emphasis on Parkside Grill
- Another grocery store
- Sustainability of EMS
Boyne City officials will continue to accept comments and ideas about the future of Boyne, and talk of circulating a survey both in print and online has also taken place.
Anyone wishing to share their ideas with the city should call (231) 582-6597.