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      Joint government meeting held to discuss economic issues

      A joint government meeting was held in Escanaba City Hall to continue a discussion on the collaboration of an Upper Peninsula Central Economic Development Zone.

      Escanaba City Manager Jim O'Toole says the micropolitan regional economic development strategy will bring two economic powerhouse counties, Marquette and Delta, together. It would allow them to have one singular voice in Lansing to compete against larger communities and districts in the Lower Peninsula.

      The goal is to grow businesses that are here and bring new businesses that rely on multi-modal transportation.

      "Be heard, talk to the representatives, and explain the importance of getting some legislation passed that recognizes that a Next Michigan Development zone is needed in the Upper Peninsula," said O'Toole. "And Delta County and Marquette County are uniquely situated to deliver on getting things done."

      Escanaba was unsuccessful last year in having a Next Michigan Development District created in the central U.P. This year, they're hoping to garner support and be selected.