Alpena denied ‘Select’ status

Alpena is going to have to wait at least another year to achieve “Select” status for Michigan Main Street, after it was denied the designation following a presentation in Lansing last week.

Alpena Downtown Development Director Lesslee Dort said she was informed Tuesday that Alpena had fallen short in its effort to be granted Select status and the perks that come with it. She said Michigan Main Street questioned the amount of community support for the project when only 12 people showed up in Lansing for the presentation. Dort said due to a snow and ice storm in the southern part of the state, some supporters were forced to turn around and head home before reaching the State capital or cancel the trip altogether. Dort said it is disappointing, but the support of the community was plentiful and everyone involved will continue to push ahead to make Alpena the best it can be.

“This does not lessen our drive to do what is best for Alpena,”‘ Dort said. “We’ll continue to do what it takes to move the downtown forward.”

Dort said the steering committee that was formed to pursue the Select designation could choose to remain intact and make another run later this year. Dort said there was a lot that was learned during the process this time that can be used and expanded upon next time.

“I know the application process won’t take as long, because we have been through it and maybe we can get more people to go to Lansing,” Dort said. “In hindsight I wouldn’t do anything different. Things just didn’t go our way this time.”

Alpena, Wayne, Twin Oaks and Grayling were all attempting to earn one of three Select Level titles. Dort said she did not know which, if any made the cut.

Steve Schulwitz can be reached via email at or by phone at 358-5689. Follow Steve on Twitter ss_alpenanews. Read his blog, Upon Further Review … at