Redevelopment makes headway
IRON RIVER—As part of his monthly report at the regular monthly meeting of the Iron River City Council Aug. 15, City Manager David Thayer announced some progress to a plan that may make Iron River more attractive to outside investors.
The update was in relation to the “Redevelopment Ready” initiative. Redevelopment Ready communities are a state-wide effort run by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Cities undergo a certification process that, when completed, indicates to investors that they meet a certain set of developmental expectations. Additionally, once approved, the community will receive assistance from the MEDC.
Dozens of communities across the state have entered the program, but while several areas have met the requirements, in the Upper Peninsula only Escanaba has so far managed to do so. Iron River’s program is projected to take two years to complete once it begins.
Since the process began for Iron River, an assessment has been made. Based off that, the final order for Iron River’s redevelopment program was expected to be ready a week or two after the August meeting. Thayer stated that the expected main goal would be an update to Iron River’s master plan, which he said would be done in July 2019 as part of the slated five-year reappraisal of the plan. Afterwards, alterations to zoning would be needed to fulfill the new plan.
Aside from the master plan situation, RRC goals for Iron River include the city starting to accept credit cards, begin historical preservation initiatives and further promote non-motorized/mass transportation options. Regarding the transportation situation, Thayer concluded that further development of it may prove difficult; aside from walking and biking options that are at least partially accommodated within city limits, presently public transit is outside of the city’s budget. Additionally, no one has submitted plans for taxi services, all factors which may impact the RRC program.
Zoning language will also be changed soon in regard to animals. The goal will be to put a firmer delineation between animal land usage (and the number of animals on that land), and rules that generally affect domesticated animals or pets themselves. Thayer brought up a previous discussion in which it was concluded that while the former is something that would generally fall under zoning, issues with domesticated creatures would generally come under police enforcement. As such, the ani-
mal section of the zoning ordinance will be adjusted to reflect that.