Pentwater, Shelby finalists in ‘Put Your Town on the Map’ contest.

March 18, 2019

– Contribued photo

Pentwater, Shelby finalists in ‘Put Your Town on the Map’ contest.


Two Oceana communities – Pentwater and Shelby – are finalists in Consumer Energy’s “Put Your Town on the Map” competition that provides funding for projects that help energize towns.

Both villages’ projects improve cycling activities in Oceana County. The Village of Pentwater’s automated bike share program and the Village of Shelby’s downtown alley improvement project are being considered for the award.

“We are improving the alleyway downtown,” said Village Administrator Robert Widigan. “It would make a great connection point from the William Field Memorial Hart-Montague Trail. We hope that this new and improved ‘Gateway to Main Street’ will bring an additional 5,000-10,000 visitors off the trail and into our downtown. The grant dollars available from Consumers Energy will help make that fundamental ‘trail-to-town’ connection a true pathway to success for the businesses of downtown Shelby.”

“The bike share is entering its fifth year,” said Dr. Claudia Ressel-Hodan, Pentwater Downtown Development Authority board member. “Because of its success, I have asked for a grant to get an automated bike release app.”

Officials will make their pitch to be chosen as the winning project, April 17, at the 2019 Small Town and Rural Development Conference in Thompsonville.

​”Consumers Energy is strengthening its commitment to rural Michigan communities by announcing a new competition to provide funding for projects that will help energize towns in the Lower Peninsula,” states a press release from Consumers.

The competition will provide a total of $15,000 to three initiatives designed to build a stronger sense of community. Consumers Energy will provide $7,500 to the winning project, with runners up receiving $5,000 and $2,500. Up to 10 finalist communities will compete for the funding.

​“Consumers Energy is committed to supporting vibrant, thriving communities of all sizes in Michigan. We have worked with small towns for over 130 years, and are excited to help support their community development,” said Roger Curtis, Consumers Energy’s vice president of public affairs. “We look forward to seeing ideas that will create even more excitement around the communities we serve.”

​The contest is open to communities with a population of up to 10,000.

Draft rendering of the Shelby project.

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