LANSING — The city of Ironwood has been named an award winner for its downtown revitalization efforts.
The Michigan Municipal League’s Region 7 Community Excellence Award was presented to the city last week at the MML’s conference in Lansing. The region includes all communities in the Upper Peninsula.
Ironwood now goes on to compete against the other six regional Michigan winners for the statewide Community Excellence Award at the MML’s annual convention Sept. 17-20 in Detroit.
“We’re going to put our best pitch in for the award in Detroit,” Mayor Kim Corcoran pledged at Monday night’s regular city commission meeting.
The award program, called “The Race for the Cup,” was initiated by the MML in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships, according to Matt Bach, director of media relations for the MML.
Ironwood’s effort centers on revitalization of a railroad depot into Depot Park to promote health, history and recreation. The plan includes merging city blocks, adding a pavilion, playground equipment, landscaping, volleyball courts and other amenities.
“It’s going to be a nice gathering place for the community,” Corcoran said.
The park will also serve as a trailhead for non-motorized trails crossing the region.
Corcoran noted it will serve as the starting point for the non-motorized trail that will span the entire state, supported by Gov. Rick Snyder’s initiative.
City manager Scott Erickson noted Monday the Depot Park project is being supported with a Department of Natural Resources grant. He said bids for grant work at the park were scheduled to be opened Tuesday.
Erickson said city officials made some good contacts in their trip to the MML awards ceremony in Lansing and commissioner Rick Semo praised Corcoran for her presentation before the MML.
Other Region 7 entries in the MML contest included a complete streets redesign in the village of Ontonagon and the historic Water Street revitalization in Sault Ste. Marie, according to Bach.