WMRPC'S PROGRAMS AND SERVICES
The WMRPC provides a variety of services to local units of government, officials, citizens, and organizations in West Michigan. The Region has several ongoing programs including:
The Comprehensive Economic Development Strategy (CEDS)
The U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) funds this program. The CEDS is an annual process of collecting information about the region related to economic development and growth. The Region facilitates the process that involves a 18-member Committee of economic developers from across the Region. The CEDS process is a prerequisite for communities to receive EDA grants for economic development projects such as infrastructure improvements, industrial parks, or other improvements related to jobs and the economy. The WMRPC is supported by EDA and is the liaison between communities and EDA. EDA has granted nearly $35 million to communities in the Region for economic development projects. For more information about the CEDS program, click here.
The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT)
The Region has on ongoing work program with MDOT that involves technical assistance to MDOT and local communities related to transportation planning. The WMRPC performs transportation studies across the region and for specific corridor studies such as the M-40/M-89 Corridor Study in Allegan County, the M-104 Corridor Study in Ottawa County, and M-66 Corridor Study in Ionia County. For more information about our Transportation program, click here.
Since 2002 the Region has been very involved in a transportation program called Asset Management – which involves creating an inventory of road conditions across Michigan to determine the best way to maintain the State’s roadways. For more information about the Asset Management program, click here.
The WMRPC is a source for U.S. Census information as well as a variety of other information including economic data, projections and customized data summaries. For more information about our data resources, click here.
Maps, Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
The WMRPC has extensive mapping and GIS capabilities. Through an ongoing relationship with Michigan’s Center for Geographic Information and Regional staff with expertise in mapping, we are able to provide communities with a variety of mapped information for project-specific requests.
Technical Assistance and Planning Services
The WMRPC offers a variety of technical assistance to its members. The WMRPC can develop comprehensive plans, land use plans, recreation plans, demographic summaries, and other planning studies. The Commission also offers workshops, training sessions, and public meetings aimed at local community planning issues.
The WMRPC maintains an extensive library collection, which includes:
● Master Plans, Land Use Plans, Recreation Plans, and other plans for many communities in West Michigan
● A local government database including community profiles, housing and demographic characteristics, and economic and employment profiles
● An extensive collection of books and reports on regional planning issues such as transportation, community and economic development, and demographics
● Zoning ordinances for the counties in Region 8
● Planning journals and publications
You can read a list of our Library resources, as of August 2013, by clicking here (the list is a PDF document).
In an effort to assist local entities in the areas of planning, project development, and implementation, the WMRPC regularly sponsors and hosts regional workshops.
The WMRPC performs regional reviews for communities that involve notifying neighboring communities of planned improvements that involve federal funds. This insures that projects do not conflict with neighboring communities and help to insure that adequate opportunities for comments are available. This also involves the review of plans such as master plans, land use plans, and recreation plans.
The WMRPC publishes a newsletter every other month that focuses on projects, programs, and other regional events or issues. Contact us to be placed on the mailing list. To read issues from the past few years, click here.
Information Network and Regular Speakers
The Board meets five times annually, the CEDS Committee meets four times annually, and the Executive Committee meets another four times. This provides many opportunities to share information between counties and economic development organizations. Additionally, we schedule speakers that detail a wide variety of programs and issues in West Michigan. To review a list of past speakers, click here.