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Press Release

March 20, 2012

CONTACT:   Matt Bach
Dir. of Communications
Michigan Municipal League
(734) 669-6317 or

Utica Wins Region 1 Nomination in League Competition

Riverwalk Now in Running for Statewide Community Excellence Award


Utica Mayor Jacqueline Noonan
View and download additional photos from this event here.

The city of Utica earned top honors as the Michigan Municipal League’s Region 1 Community Excellence Award winner at the Michigan Municipal League 2012 Capital Conference Lansing on Tuesday, March 20. The region includes all communities in the southeastern portion of the state’s Lower Peninsula.

Utica’s Riverwalk was funded by the Downtown Development Authority, envisioned by Mayor Jacqueline Noonan, and brought to reality by the city’s Department of Public Works. The amenity is both an economic driver and grand asset to the quality of life for Utica, connecting the city’s Memorial Park as the centerpiece of its historic Main Street with Auburn Road and its unique riverfront.

“The city is excited and honored to be included in such a prestigious competition,” said Mayor Noonan after accepting the award. “Our river walk is a symbol of the high quality of life in Utica.”

Utica competed for the regional title against six other regional projects: Eastpointe’s new “app” for smart phones to connect residents with important services, events and information; Brighton’s economic gardening initiative to grow the city’s downtown as a dining destination; Fenton’s place-making and branding campaign, “Fenton Be Closer”; Lathrup Village’s plan to increase walkability and a sense of place with its Complete Streets Master Plan, Non-Motorized Transportation Improvements Program and Complete Streets ordinance; Grand Blanc’s “Tour de Grand Blanc” bike-able and walk-able downtown renovation project; and Bessemer's water infrastructure collaboration.

Utica will now go on to compete against the other six regional winners for the statewide Community Excellence Award at the League’s Annual Convention Oct. 3-5 on Mackinac Island. The CEA program, affectionately called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships.




For more information contact, Matt Bach, communications director for the Michigan Municipal League at (734) 669-6317 or


The Michigan Municipal League advocates on behalf of its member communities in Lansing, Washington D.C., and the courts; provides educational opportunities for elected and appointed municipal officials; and assists municipal leaders in administering services to their communities through League programs and services.




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