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Central Lake: Turn of the tide

Community marks final graduation from first cohort of Project Rising Tide

Friday, Dec. 14, 2018

CENTRAL LAKE, Mich. –  A community on the rise nestled right in the heart of pristine northern Michigan, Central Lake, is leveraging its assets to play a part in the state’s economic revival, Gov. Rick Snyder said today, joining state and local leaders in celebration of the community’s graduation from Project Rising Tide.

Today’s graduation marks the tenth and final community to graduate from the first cohort of the program, which launched in 2015.

“Michigan grows when our communities grow,” Snyder said. “Today’s graduation is not just a celebration, but a call to action for leaders to continue working together, collaborating and strengthening their community so they too may play a part in Michigan’s comeback story. Positive changes are starting to take hold here in Central Lake, and the partnerships they’ve built will last long after its graduation today.”

Project Rising Tide is led by the Talent and Economic Development Department of Michigan (Ted). It taps technical assistance and expertise from its agencies, including the Michigan State Housing Development Authority, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Talent Investment Agency, connecting communities with the tools and resources needed to build a strong economic foundation to continue building on.

“This is only the beginning for this great community,” Ted Interim Director Jeremy Hendges said. “It has been a long road, but success takes time and there is no doubt the hard work leaders have put in will pay dividends in economic success well into the future. It’s important Central Lake leaders continue to keep pushing forward, collaborating and rising the tide for all of Michigan.”

During its time in the program, Central Lake received technical assistance in creating an economic development strategy, site assessments to help identify opportunities for redevelopment, zoning ordinance review and a communications plan.

“Rising Tide has renewed our community’s pride in itself and its abilities to bring about positive change,” Central Lake Village President Larry Eckhardt said. “It has also renewed our commitment to a better, brighter economic future for our community, our residents and our state. The partnerships and collaborations created from this program will continue on as we work hard to create a community ready for businesses and Michiganders to call home.”

Since 2015, Central Lake has leveraged $522,700 in Community Development Block Grants to invest in its local park to further solidify it as the premier tourist attraction for the village and is developing a new pavilion at the farmers market to showcase home-grown products to residents and tourists alike.

Central Lake joins Charlotte, River Rouge, Grayling, Paw Paw, Harrison, Hillsdale, Sandusky, Evart and Newberry as graduates and will now move into a mentorship role to guide its neighbor to the south, Manistee.