In June 2015, Dr. Joe Ohren facilitated a goal session with the Petoskey City Council, City Manager and Department Heads to discuss important issues facing the City of Petoskey, and to set near-term goals for the City.

1. Insure a Long-Term Sustainable City Budget

  • Consider four specific new revenue sources to increase total revenues for the City
  • Develop and implement a comprehensive educational/informational campaign to explain to residents the need for additional revenues to insure sustainability

2. Plan for New and Replacement Infrastructure to Accommodate the Future

  • Identify, perhaps by extending the Capital Improvement Plan (CIP), the long term infrastructure needs of city departments, indicating both new and replacement needs as well as long term infrastructure maintenance requirements
  • Consider specific revenue sources for infrastructure and capital expenditures; for example, a public safety millage to provide additional revenue for replacement of public safety equipment
  • Aggressively pursue grants to support specific infrastructure needs, including Bureau of Indian Affairs funding for streets where appropriate
  • Explore reclassifying appropriate city streets to increase the level of state road funding

3. Diversify and Strengthen the City's Economic Base

  • Create an inventory of vacant and/or underutilized property for marketing purposes
  • Develop a handbook that identifies City policies, processes, and costs for development or redevelopment in the City
  • Articulate a policy, even a general framework if necessary, governing the City's position on supporting development/redevelopment efforts through incentives of various kinds
  • Consider pursuing Redevelopment Ready Community Certification from the State MEDC
  • Reexamine parking requirements for commercial uses outside the downtown area in the Zoning Ordinance

4. Identify and Address Downtown Development Issues

  • Consider several specific strategies to increase parking or parking access in the downtown area
  • Examine and remove to the extent feasible obstacles to downtown residential uses
  • Consider whether property code enforcement should be expanded in the downtown area.