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For establishing a solid foundation to attract private investment, and further build on municipality assets, the City of Battle Creek has been awarded Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC) certification, the Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced Monday.
The MEDC will formally present the award tonight, at the beginning of the regular City Commission meeting. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at City Hall, 10 N. Division St.
Battle Creek joins 16 other communities that have qualified as “thoroughly prepared” when it comes to planning, zoning, and other key features that remove traditional barriers and promote opportunities for potential investors. Other certified RRCs are Allegan, Boyne City, Dearborn, Eastpointe, Escanaba, Ferndale, Kalamazoo, Lansing, Lathrup Village, Manistee, Marshall, Middleville, Muskegon, Roseville, Southfield, and Ypsilanti.
“Our mission at MEDC 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,” said MEDC Senior Vice President Katharine Czarnecki. “We look forward to working collaboratively with Battle Creek to create a vibrant community where business talent want to be, and where a strong sense of community flourishes.”
As an RRC participant, the city received a comprehensive assessment that measures current community and economic development practices, as compared to RRC best practice standards. Further, the program evaluates and certifies communities that integrate transparency, predictability, and efficiency into economic development practices. Certification status provides a compelling sign that a community has removed development barriers and streamlined processes to be more competitive and attractive to investors.
“Through the RRC assessment, it became clear that there were a number of things we were already doing, that we may not have fully communicated to the public and private investors, said city Planning Manager Christine Zuzga. “The process reminded us that intentional and consistent messaging to the community, and even internally, is important, and we made changes to ensure this continues to happen.
“The RRC process also provided momentum around large-scale planning efforts under way in the community, including the master plan. The culmination of these efforts, and the RRC certification, demonstrates to community stakeholders that Battle Creek has a unified vision, streamlined process, and is primed with opportunity.”