Arsenault steps down from Ishpeming DDA; New member sought


Journal Staff Writer

ISHPEMING — Monday marked the Ishpeming Downtown Development Authority’s first meeting of the year. Among the agenda items was a beautification committee report and request for volunteers along with this year’s facade grant schedule.

Longtime DDA member Sandy Arsenault submitted her letter of resignation.

“It has been an honor to serve on the DDA board and working with a great group of community business people and city hall staff,” Arsenault said in an email. “(And) making decisions to keep our downtown a beautiful place to visit and live.”

Arsenault said that she had planned on retiring this year and felt that the time was right to step aside and give others an opportunity to serve.

She said she’s looking forward to slowing down and enjoying time with family and friends.

“The city programs are often supported by individual and collective volunteer contributors. Sandy is a long-time, well-respected contributor and is dedicated to the history and business development of Ishpeming,” Ishpeming City Manager Craig Cugini said in an email. “She and her husband have provided many years of giving to Ishpeming business, downtown development and the restoration of the Gossard Building. Recognizing the significance in Ishpeming’s history, the Arsenaults have worked tirelessly to share knowledge, artifacts and to document contributions made by women and the Gossard.”

Cugini commended Arsenault for stepping up as an appointed member of the DDA, recognizing that the greater good of the community warranted additional time and labors of love for the community.

“Sandy has earned respect and admiration while helping to propel this community forward,” Cugini said. “Her time on the DDA reflects great credit upon her and dedication to the successes of this community which have not gone unnoticed. She will be missed as a member of the DDA, but with every chance comes new opportunity.”

Cugini said current members of the authority areconfident that someone in the community will find the DDA to be their place to contribute.

“We sincerely wish Sandy many years of happiness and success and thank her for her many contributions to Ishpeming,” Cugini said.

The beautification committee is also marking its 10th year in the city and is looking for volunteers to help with tending gardensthroughout the city.

Linda Andriacchi, chairperson for the beautification committee, said the committee is a worthwhile project and every year the residents of the city look forward to seeing the hanging basket full of flowers.

“When COVID struck, we lost several volunteers and they haven’t returned to help us out,” Andriacchi said over email. “I hope to let the public know that we need volunteers and that we greatly appreciate their help and know donating their time is one of the most rewarding and appreciated things a person can do.”

Andriacchi said that she would like to get more people interested in volunteering.

“There are several gardens throughout the city that need attention,” Andriacchi said. “I ask that service groups who volunteered their time before to come back to help us o

There is also a paid position available. Duties would include watering the hanging baskets throughout the city. There are 95 in total and need watering three times a week for 5-6 hours. Hours are flexible and pay is $15 an hour. A valid drivers license is required.

Those interested can contact Cathy Smith, city clerk, at 906-485-1091, ext. 203.

The DDA also briefly discussed its 2023 facade grant schedule. During public comments, Velodrome founder and owner, Brice Sturmer, said that his business received one of the grants in 2021.

Sturmer said the funding allowed Velodrome to add unique elements to the facade including a garage door with bar seating.

“This really has created a unique indoor and outdoor atmosphere in our cafe during the summer and it allows us to really lean into all the downtown events that happen throughout the summer,” Sturmer said. “The facade grant helped us bring an innovative and unique space to downtown Ishpeming.”

The application period is open for the 2023 facade grant cycle. Applications are available at ishpemingcity.org under the DDA tab. Applications should be returned to the city manager’s office at 100 E. Division St., Ishpeming, MI, 49849. by 5 p.m. March 20th

Questions regarding the facade grant application can be directed to the city manager’s office at 906-485-1091, ext. 248.

The next DDA meeting will be held on Monday, April 3, at 4 p.m. in the city hall conference room.

Dreyma Beronja can be reached at 906-228-2500 ext. 248. Their email address is dberonj@miningjournal.net.


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