The City of Marshall has taken steps to make sure it has put in place planning and zoning along with other key features that remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for prospective private investors.
On Dec. 2 it becomes one of eight communities in Michigan that have received certification from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that indicates they are qualified as "thoroughly prepared" when it comes to planning and zoning and that they have established a solid foundation to attract private investment.
Certification as a Redevelopment Ready Community demonstrates a community follows economic development best practices. The program also evaluates and certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability, and efficiency into their economic development practices.
"When we first enrolled in the RRC program, the City of Marshall discovered that we were already using many of the practices and policies suggested for the RRC certification," says Natalie Dean, Marshall Assistant City Manager and Director of Community Services. "We got together as a team and worked hard to implement the other strategies outlined in the program."
Dean says the certification sends a strong message to developers "that we welcome their business, that we have laid the groundwork for a good process, and that our community is fully supportive and values their project. The certification lays the groundwork for developers to know that we offer a small town atmosphere, and are a progressive community."
Other certified RRC’s include Allegan, Boyne City, Eastpointe, Lathrup Village, Roseville, Ypsilant, and Muskegon.
"Our mission at MEDC," says MEDC Senior Vice President Katharine Czarnecki, "is to empower communities so they can proactively shape their future, a future built on a solid foundation of retaining and attracting business investment and talent."
Correction: Photos published with an earlier version of this story were not of Marshall, Mich. They were from Marshall, Ill.