Michigan communities in Huron, Ottawa and Kent counties are receiving a total of $15,000 for projects to energize local residents and attract statewide attention after winning Consumers Energy’s first “Put Your Town on the Map” competition.
Port Austin received $7,500 for first place. Spring Lake received $5,000 as runner-up, and Sparta received $2,500. Also competing were projects in Greenville, Groveland Township, Pentwater, Quincy, Shelby, Stanton and West Branch.
“Consumers Energy is thrilled by the response from communities across the state. We received over 40 submissions for projects of all types that strive to make Michigan a better place to live,” said Roger Curtis, Consumers Energy’s vice president of public affairs.
“This competition shows that innovation, pride and collaboration are strong in communities across Michigan, no matter their size. We hope our funding and the public attention for all 10 finalists provide momentum to make these projects a reality.”
A panel of judges chose the projects Wednesday after officials from 10 communities made presentations at the 2019 Small Town and Rural Development Conference.
The winning projects are:
- Port Austin – First place ($7,500) – The Port Austin Chamber of Commerce, Downtown Development Authority and Village are proposing the development of a large vacant lot in the center of town into an interactive and dynamic space where tourists and community members will come together.
- Spring Lake – Second place ($5,000) – The Village of Spring Lake is proposing to bring public art to its Lakeside Trail to make the village a destination for visitors and a point of community pride.
- Sparta – Third place ($2,500) – The Sparta Downtown Development Authority is proposing a project called The Orchard, an incubator for small businesses.
Consumers Energy created the Put Your Town on the Map competition to reward ideas and provide critical dollars for projects that are being developed in small towns throughout Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Communities with a population of up to 10,000 were eligible. The company will sponsor another competition in 2020.
Consumers Energy, its charitable foundation, employees and retirees contributed $18.5 million to support nonprofit organizations statewide last year.
Consumers Energy, Michigan’s largest energy provider, is the principal subsidiary of CMS Energy (NYSE: CMS), providing natural gas and/or electricity to 6.7 million of the state’s 10 million residents in all 68 Lower Peninsula counties.
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Media Contacts: Brian Wheeler, 517-788-2394, or Terry DeDoes, 517-374-2159
For more information about Consumers Energy, go to www.ConsumersEnergy.com.