M-22 Benzie-Manistee Byway Committee to hold open house

ONEKAMA — The M-22 Benzie-Manistee Pure Michigan Byway committee will host a public open house from 5:30-7:30 p.m. on Sept. 20 at the Onekama Township Hall, located at 5435 Main St. in Onekama.

The byway committee is gathering public input on the Corridor Management Plan. There will be no formal presentations, so citizens, businesses and organizations may come at any time and to review sections of the plan and maps, speak with committee members and provide input.

Comment cards will be available for attendees to share their thoughts about the future management of the byway. The public can also review a copy of the Corridor Management Plan and share comments at www.nwm.org/m22bywayplan.

Hard copies of the Plan will be available for review at the following locations: the Pleasant Valley Community Center in Arcadia, Onekama Township Hall and the Frankfort Public Library. The public comment period ends on Oct. 13.

The overarching mission of the Corridor Management Plan is to promote and communicate the quality assets along the M-22 Benzie-Manistee Byway corridor and the access to those assets. The purpose of the Corridor Management Plan is to provide an understanding of the state-designated Pure Michigan Byway and the goals for the corridor. The plan includes:

• Maps identifying the corridor boundaries;

• Information about population and land use along the corridor, including traffic counts;

• An inventory of intrinsic qualities including scenic, natural, historical, cultural, and recreational assets;

• Goals and objectives for the corridor;

• A list of projects and action steps; and

• A financial plan.

The M-22 Benzie-Manistee Byway Committee is comprised of representatives from local governments, agencies and organizations, and works in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT).

Funding assistance for this project came from Benzie and Manistee counties and the Michigan Department of Transportation. The Alliance for Economic Success, Networks Northwest, and the Michigan Department of Transportation are active partners in the committee’s activities.

Al Taylor, chair of the M-22 Benzie-Manistee Byway Committee stated, “We want to hear about the byway traveler’s experiences along M-22, what they like about the highway and its amenities, what they think needs to change and/or preserve, and what type of amenities are important for the community to feature through an economic development lens.

“We have heard some great ideas from committee members and community members through the Lakes to Land master planning and recreation planning process, and we are excited to hear more,” Taylor added. “Obviously, there are physical and financial factors that will impact the future of the Byway corridor. We want to learn about people’s preferences and invite their involvement to inform and guide the management process.”

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