Project Rising Tide comes to end, committee to keep program progressing
December 13, 2019
By JAN TUCKER
Ontonagon — Project Rising Tide, a state funded program which was to have helped a community to rise economically will officially end Dec. 19 at 4 p.m., but Mike Burzynski, hopes it will continue in the coming months and years to raise the community of Ontonagon.
Burzynski was provided by the state to assist Ontonagon in the effort. The state funded program was initiated for rural communities that were chosen by then Gov. Rick Synder. Burzynski said even though the official program is over, he hopes the steering committee, which has helped accomplish much, will continue to meet monthly.
Over the last year representatives from the village, planning commission, downtown development authority, the school, business owners, Becket and Rader, Northern Initiatives, Michigan economic development corporation, The Small Business Development Center, Michigan Works, State Agencies and others have met and discussed the village progress on the issue.
Burzynski detailed some of the success of the project, including the work to implement the Façade project. Five businesses are looking at improving the outside look of their business and two are looking at rehabilitation of their buildings, Burzynski said. In addition the community is vying for designation as a “Dark Sky” village. That is an area where you can view the sky without white noise. Burzynski also noted that five new businesses have opened in the village since it became a Rising Tide area. They include, Pro Active, an accounting business of Houghton has expanded into the area and 906 IT tech is purchasing a building here. A custom Grooming business and Myren Logging are also new to the area. The project initiated a meeting that brought together the village, the business community, the school and Michigan Works to talk about talent development, attraction and retention. Village manager Joseph Erickson noted the school has a work-based program, promoting its welding program and implementing a fabrication lab. The Small Business Development Center is using the model for other communities. Erickson said he will have a wrap up report at the at the next village council meeting.
“It’s all about instilling leadership in a community,” Buryznski said.