HARRIS, Mich. (WZMQ) – The Upper Peninsula’s local elected leaders are gathering this week to discuss the best ways to serve their communities.
The Upper Peninsula Association of County Commissioners (UPACC) Conference is being held Thursday and Friday at the Island Resort & Casino.
“UPCAP serves as the administrator for the UPACC,” said Jonathan Mead, Upper Peninsula Commission for Area Progress president. “Twice a year we have a conference to talk about issues that are affecting counties, legislation, programs, initiatives, and a whole host of things that can inform county commissioners so that they can be more effective.”
Commissioners from all 15 U.P. counties are attending the conference. Agenda items include new voting laws, regional housing partnerships, and broadband expansion opportunities.
“There’s been a fair amount of expansion in the U.P., but there are still a lot of areas of the Upper Peninsula that don’t have high-speed internet,” Mead said. “What we’re focusing right now is getting broadband installers to start focusing on that ‘last mile’—the more isolated, rural areas—so that hopefully in the next three to four years, we have the entire U.P. covered.”
Mead says UPCAP and other organizations presenting at the UPACC Conference hope to provide valuable tools and resources each commissioner can apply in their county.
“Our goal is to continually do what we can do to educate commissioners so that the Upper Peninsula is better served,” he said. “They can walk away with some information that can help them reach some of these objectives that mean a lot to people that live here. We’ve been doing these conferences since 1970, and we haven’t really had a conference that people left without being enlightened and having additional information to help them as commissioners.”
Click here for more information on the U.P. Association of County Commissioners.