Standish to donate to Pure Michigan campaign
STANDISH — The Standish City Council unanimously agreed Nov. 19 to contribute $1,750 to the Pure Michigan advertising campaign as part of the multi-county US-23 Heritage Route tourism push.
The amount matches what Au Gres contributes, Standish Mayor Mark Winslow said. City Manager Curt Hillman added Pure Michigan gets the most online traffic of any ad campaigns of its kind, with Arkansas a distant second, and the heritage route portion supports tourism in Northeast Michigan.
Since getting to much of Northeast Michigan requires traveling through Standish, Hillman said it made sense to contribute. Hillman also serves as the president of the Arenac County Heritage Route Authority, which contributes to the campaign.
“The city doesn’t pay into it, so technically we’re not covered by it,” Hillman said. “By us contributing, the heritage route is able to guarantee a bullet point for Standish on the website, so this is doing it for us and guarantees it appears.”
The campaign would highlight businesses and things to see and do in the Standish area thanks to the contribution, he said.
The $1,750 will not have any effect on the budget, Hillman said, since it comes from an unexpected $3,000 windfall the city recently received for oil and gas leases. Since that money was not in the budget in the first place, he thought it would be a good idea to donate it.
Arenac County is one of five counties that contribute to the heritage route campaign, with amounts based on population. The county must contribute a total of $4,250 if all four other counties — Alpena, Alcona, Iosco and Presque Isle — participate, and $5,000 if Presque Isle is unable to afford its contribution.
In 2012 Au Gres contributed $1,750, the Au Gres Chamber of Commerce contributed $500, and the Arenac County Economic Development Corporation and Heritage Route Authority each contributed $1,500.
The Heritage Route Authority is facing low funds — approximately $6,000 remains in its account — until sometime between January and March, when its contributions from local municipal entities start to come in, and member JoAnn Swartz said at its Nov. 5 meeting it may be unable to put in the same amount of money it contributed last year. Standish already offsets the water bill for the Standish Historical Depot, which is operated by the authority; but to keep the depot building open itself costs about $2,000 a month, Swartz said.
The total amount of the heritage route’s Pure Michigan contribution for 2013 is $25,000, and is due to the advertiser by Jan 31.