October 24, 2014

Wayfinder signs to highlight notable Arenac County sites

Posted

ARENAC COUNTY — The Arenac County Economic Development Corporation (EDC) received a $50,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office of Rural Development to install signage throughout Arenac County highlighting noteworthy locations for visitors.

EDC member Chris Shannon said the signs would highlight nature preserves, parks, developments such as the Saganing Eagles Landing Casino and the Standish Historical Depot, and other locales that set the county apart from other parts of the state.

“There is a lot going on in the county that are sort of our own little secrets, including the parks,” Shannon said. “We could bring more tourism dollars to the county, and even some residents are not aware of what we have going on.”

Shannon said the county has about 100 destinations, from parks and libraries to the hospital and historical locations, that would fit the bill for the signs, though between the grant and the EDC’s $10,000 match, it only has money to list about 16 of them.

An EDC committee, which includes the city managers of Standish and Au Gres, County Commissioner Joe Sancimino, and Laura Puzzuoli of Standish business Competitive Machining, is currently narrowing down which of those destinations it will list on this set of signs.

An additional five locations, primarily nature preserves, would be paid for by the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy: Shannon said he believes Arenac County has among the most nature preserves of any county in the state, information that should be highlighted.

Shannon said he believes the Arenac County Historical Society is interested in listing the county museum in Au Gres, and Au Gres City Manager Pat Killingbeck said the city was looking into installing a few new signs in the same style to highlight areas like the city’s chapel and the library.

The signs will be color coded: blue signs would be for areas along the bay or involving water, green signs would indicate inland parks, red would indicate developed property, and black denotes directions. The signs will feature distance markers and the county logo, though if Au Gres goes forward with its signs, Killingbeck said the city’s logo would be included on them as well.

The county’s marshy lakeshore property could be a boon to tourism and recreation, Shannon said, if the county can highlight its venues for bird-watching, kayaking and canoeing.

The Arenac County Road Commission is helping the EDC get the permits to install signs along state-run highways, such as M-13, US-23, and M-76, and Shannon said others would be put up on county roads. He said the EDC is hoping to have the signs installed at some point in the spring.

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