BY CHRIS FAULKNOR, PUBLISHER
“Boyne City works because Boyne City works together,” said Boyne City Manager Michael Cain at the 2009 State of the Community Breakfast.
Now, eight years later, on the eve of this year’s State of the Community luncheon, the Boyne City Gazette asked you what makes this place so special.
1. Close-Knit Community – Asking around throughout Boyne City, one of the main focus points of various community members is the close-knit nature of the locals. This is often visible in the tendency Boyne City residents have to unite behind a cause.
Recent examples include the “Team Boone” events aimed at raising awareness and funds for the cause of a child facing medical needs, as well as citizens uniting for causes such as support of the new city facilities, water fluoridation (both those in favor and against), and dozens of fundraising benefits for various causes and families.
2. Free Medical Care – The Boyne Area Free Clinic provides free medical care to the uninsured and under-insured alike.
Located on State Street, the clinic was founded by Dr. Richard Mansfield, who was recruited into the Boyne City fold decades ago. The clinic provides routine exams and prescribes medication as needed, referrals for outside services needed, and assistance for those needing help finding governmental insurance assistance (such as applications for Medicaid).
3. Charitable Causes – The Boyne City community supports and maintains, through various organizations, charities to help those in need. These can be in the form of service organizations such as the Lions Club, which focuses on the blind and vision impaired, the Kiwanis Club, dedicated to children, and the Eta Nu Women’s Fraternity which is gearing up now for Dressed for Chill, which assists children in getting the winter gear they need.
Also included are membership organizations such as the Boyne City Eagles, which hosts a free-for-all Thanksgiving dinner each year and contributes financially to the area.
4. Business Development – Through grants supported by the Boyne City Administration and Main Street Program, local businesses have enjoyed a variety of opportunities to improve themselves, through community development block grants, payment in lieu of taxes programs, and façade improvements. Examples have included Boyne Country Provisions, Precision Edge, Stiggs Brewery, Subway, and more.
5. Fantastic Events – Boyne City hosts a variety of events throughout the year for dozens of occasions. Local holidays are expanded through opportunities such as a massive Fourth of July Festival, open houses centered around the post-Thanksgiving Santa parade, and Chocolate-Covered Boyne near Valentine’s Day.
Additional chances to celebrate include periodic Business After Hours events to support networking among business owners, Earlier than the Bird each year to promote early (think six in the morning) shopping, and the Boyne Business Expo, which allows vendors and potential customers to connect in a large-scale fair-style atmosphere at Boyne Mountain.
6. Projects – The top and most recent project is clearly the Boyne City Hall complex, which includes a brand-new set of offices for city administration, museum, and emergency services suite that encompasses the Boyne City Police, Fire, and EMS departments.
Also included is housing for the renovated clock and antique fire truck.
Other projects include the Boyne City Pavilion, which is currently under construction, various street and roadway improvements, a thorough volunteer-driven cleaning out of the playground following concerns of arsenic, and the current rental of the former Devlon Corporation site now known as the Boyne City Open Space.
7. Safety – Many are proud of the safety of the Boyne Community. The police force boasts regular training opportunities, including vital active shooter training held at the Boyne City High School in recent years. The police force was among the first to introduce body cameras on their officers to allow better quality assurance as well as liability protection for their officers.
Also on the list of achievements include officers patrolling on bicycles, PBT’s offered at the station in City Hall, a new logo, and increased education culminating in Assistant Chief Kevin Spate completing a leadership training program.
8. Education – Boyne City’s educational opportunities continue to expand, offering a variety of different experiences.
Concord Academy Boyne offers a smaller fine-arts focused education for students.
The larger Boyne City Public Schools recently completed improvements to their facilities, and are constantly integrating new programs. These include middle and high school bands, an award-winning visual imaging program, a newly restored industrial arts program, which boasts factory machinery donated by local industrial businesses, and a new optional fifth-year program allowing students wishing to stay an additional year to complete additional education with no added cost.
The school system also hosts award-winning culinary arts opportunities, trips abroad, and early childhood programs focused on getting younger children ready to begin their formal education.
Overall, Boyne City continues to grow, being one of the few towns to increase in population on the last census.
The trend to fix what’s not perfect and continue to improve what’s already working has kept Boyne City ahead of the times and the proverbial curve.
If the past eight years are any indication, Boyne City will continue to be a destination for people from all over the United States.