Laurium mulls five-year plan adjustment

(Jon Jaehnig/For the Gazette) The Laurium Village Council is holding a work session at 1 p.m. Friday to work on their five-year master plan as part of its process to gain status as a “Redevelopment Ready Community.”

LAURIUM — During its regular meeting Wednesday, the Laurium Village Council considered discussion of its five-year plan. In addition to adding transparency and direction to the council’s operation, the document is required as part of Laurium’s efforts to become a Redevelopment Ready Community.

“We’re ready to move forward with certifying Laurium. It’s going to be a long process, to be sure,” councilor John Sullivan said of the RRC procedure in November of last year. “What they’re really interested in is to get a five-year plan developed.”

RRC certification is a voluntary, no-cost process that helps communities develop best practices and makes communities more attractive to businesses, according to certifying agency the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Laurium is one of five communities in Houghton County and one of 12 communities in the western Upper Peninsula engaged in the program. Only one community in the western U.P., Bessemer, has achieved RRC certification as of December 2019.

“Establishing the five-year plan is going to be the longest task in RRC certification,” Sullivan said in the November meeting. “Four or five of us aren’t going to be able to do it; we need to do this as a team.”

Councilors attended a video conference on the five-year Mayer plan in November and got a copy of Calumet’s master plan to use as a “shell” in drafting their own. The village of Calumet has completed their initial application to become a certified RRC but has not yet received certification. Their five-year plan is a 62-page document that Laurium Village Councilor Amy Schneiderhan called “overwhelming to look at.”

The council scheduled a work session for 1 p.m. on Friday, Jan. 31, at the Laurium Village Hall to work on their master plan. Laurium community members are welcome to attend the work session and offer ideas or feedback, particularly if they have experience drafting master plans at the municipal or organizational level.

“If you have experience drafting a five-year plan, that’ll be your opportunity to come and help us out,” said Sullivan.