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February 2003
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The Partnership Project moves along

On January 21st, 2003 members of Beaver Island's Partnership Project met at the Peaine Town Hall. Since one of its goals is to foster communication between the various infrastructure groups involved with the Island, the first half hour was given to reports from various members about their projects. Pete LoDico talked about the Senior Housing's attempts to find funding for Phase I of its planned 3-stage program, a 6-unit structure behind the new Rural Health Center that might cost about $600,000. The problem his group has run up against is that the site does not meet the expectations of state agencies such as the Michigan State Housing Development Authority because it isn't in the center of town and lacks sidewalks and extensive lighting, and the relatively low budget doesn't show up on many agency's radar. Anne Glendon spoke about the Health Center Board's attempts to find funding for the ongoing operation of the new facility, and was fairly optimistic. Krys Lyle too was encouraged about the Friends of the Trails meeting their goals of providing access to several public sites. Larry Sullivan, the Charlevoix planner, filled the group in about a new survey being sent to 13,000 county voters to help establish visual preferences for what we want our community to look like.
The attendees then broke into three subcommittees to discuss what small steps each could take to move closer to their goals. The “Eco-friendly Economic Development and Technological Access” subcommittee decided to do two things. First, they intend to develop a list of potential eco-friendly businesses that might be appropriate for Beaver Island. Second, they will try to schedule two classes on web-site design for March and April.

The “Public Safety and Health” subcommittee refined its general list of objectives, placing two items at the top: helping provide a second full-time deputy for Beaver Island, at least in the summer, and helping the Rural Health Center, the EMS, and Senior Housing obtain the necessary resources to complete their new facilities. They also want to play a role in the new uses for the old Med Center building: possibly relocating the Sheriff's Substation there and establishing a social services umbrella agency there.
The “Environment and Access” subcommittee talked about preparing a fact book on Beaver Island to disseminate information about public land–including Garden Island. They were excited about the upcoming Peaine Township website as a way to provide information about such things as planting trees and dune grass, and coordinating the efforts of the Recreation Plan, the Wildlife Club, and the Youth Consortium.

The next meeting will be on March 18th at the Peaine Hall at noon.

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