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      Bringing Smartzone to Marquette

      The Marquette City Commission took further steps to make Marquette a Smartzone city. The Commission voted to schedule a public hearing for the Local Development Finance Authority. In January it was announced that Northern Michigan University is working to become a satellite Smartzone of Michigan Tech University, in Houghton.

      Smartzones provide opportunities for young entrepreneurs coming from the universities. The Finance Authority existed formerly to represent industry in northern Marquette. This move would redefine the boundaries to include all of the city Marquette.

      "This is really an exciting opportunity for the city because it will allow us to perhaps attract some businesses, perhaps there's some budding entrepreneurs at Northern with some intellectual properties that they can bring to market commercially, this Smartzone will provide some assistance in that regard," said Marquette Mayor Robert Niemi.

      New members would also have to be appointed to the Local Development Finance Authority. The Commission also unanimously approved an amendment to a city ordinance that would allow outdoor cafes to serve alcohol.