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Marquette DDA board reevaluates flag policy

A decision about a flag display downtown this summer is raising questions about the current policy.
Published: Apr. 8, 2021 at 2:53 PM EDT
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - A decision about a flag display downtown this summer is raising questions about flag policy among Marquette Downtown Development Authority board members.

Pride Fest 2021 has been canceled due to the pandemic. In its place, U.P. Rainbow Pride is hosting “A Ride with Pride” vehicle procession on Saturday, June 26.

The MDDA board approved the group’s request to display pride flags downtown that day. However, members now plan to consider revising the current flag policy for requests going forward.

“Everybody wants to have their particular priority or agenda displayed,” said Marquette City Manager Mike Angeli. “There’s going to come a time when you’re going to get a flag request from somebody that you may not want, but because you’re a public entity, you have to honor that.”

While some board members suggested doing away with outside flag applications altogether, others said the displays often benefit the downtown economy.

“A lot of people love seeing flags and supporting downtown, and if there’s a festival going on, that’s bringing business into our local businesses,” said DDA board member Jermey Ottaway.

The flag policy will be reevaluated by a DDA committee in the near future.

The DDA board also voted in support of the Ore Dock Brewing Company purchasing a strip of green space behind its building.

“They are looking to develop that into a beer garden to expand their outdoor seating capacity and really utilize an under-utilized space,” explained Rebecca Finco, DDA Executive Director.

A lease negotiation for a potential bike rental business on the Lakeshore Bike Path was also approved by the board.

“Bikes are available for rent by entering your credit card, using the bike for your chosen period of time, and then returning the bike to that bike corral,” Finco said.

Both the Ore Dock and bike rental proposals will go to the Marquette City Commission for consideration.

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