Housing improvements, economic development discussed in Benton Harbor master plan

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:18 PM EDT
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BENTON, Mich. (WNDU) - Benton Harbor leaders have big plans for the future.

Commissioners met Monday night to discuss the city’s 20-year master plan.

With a minimum of $500 million dollars of investment planned for the next decade, Benton Harbor leaders have been hosting workshops to get residents’ feedback.

“We’ve been working to coordinate a Benton Harbor talent competition as a strategy to engage youth in this process...Getting everyone excited to do another series of workshops to talk about any suggestions the commission has,” said Vice President of McKenna Paul Lippens.

People said they want better housing.

“Create housing and attainable housing in the city. We know that the city does have a fair amount of property, over 500 lots in city possession, and coming up with a unified strategy for what the city does with those lots is a really important thing for us to tackle,” said Lippens.

Economic development came up too.

“And, within the City of Benton Harbor, 88 percent of every dollar spent by a Benton Harbor resident gets spent outside of the city,” said Lippens.

McKenna is the firm hired to create the master plan.

“And I think we have revealed a lot of preliminary recommendations. Now we have some ideas and we’re ready to talk about whether they work and whether they will fit,” said Lippens.

Some commissioners said they were in “awe” of the plan.

They are planning more neighborhood workshops this upcoming fall.

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