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Beacon Archive

December 2002
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The Partnership Project takes a step forward

At a November 12th meeting of the Beaver Island Partnership Project, interim co-chairman Jim Haveman announced that he had written a letter of support for a $248,000 grant requested by the BICS for technological/Internet training and equipment. There was a brief discussion of what to support, and why some organizations had not come on board–particularly the two Township Boards.

The twenty people present broke into committees to discuss three issues that had been identified at the previous meeting, with the hope of narrowing in on some goals that might be accomplished in 2003. After thirty minutes, each committee presented their results.

The Eco-friendly Economic Development/Technology Committee listed five specific opportunities: 1) approach the director of the MSU Cooperative Extension Services to see what kind of resources it might be able to offer; 2) approach the director of the West Michigan Tourist Association to see what hot-spots of eco-tourism she considers appropriate for Beaver Island; 3) sponsor classes to teach the art of designing and using web sites to enhance Island business; 4) develop a means of investigating, identifying, and communicating general and technological opportunities being underused; and 5) institute a "welcome wagon" for new businesses to acquaint their owners with available resources and brief them on Beaver Island's unique problems and some successful and unsuccessful attempts at solving them.

The Environmental Access Committee wanted to protect and improve access to public land and water. They thought they should study all the previous land use plans, starting with Dave Gladish's of 27 years ago. They suggested preparing a “fact book” on Beaver Island that would present details on accessing public land–and much more information about our expanding infrastructure.

The Public Health and Safety Committee wanted to study moving the sheriff's substation to the old Medical Center building, where there could be room for additional county offices. They felt the time has come for a second full-time deputy, and recommended more classes on water safety (the Youth Consortium did this, and it was their most popular activity.) They supported an increased presence by the State Police. They thought the DNR role should be expanded, and a deer program created. They thought it would be important to work closely with the EMT and the Fire Department.

The next meeting is January 21st at noon at the Peaine Hall.

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