FLINT TWP. — Have you ever had trouble trying to find your way around the township, whether it be finding an obscure residential street or trying to remember which is which among commercial areas such as Market Place, Commerce Drive and Exchange Drive? Well, rest assured, help is now at hand.
For the first time as far back as anyone can remember, Flint Township has its very own map, highlighting its businesses and attractions and a coded index of all township streets including residential ones.
As a project of the West Flint Business Association working with Flint Township officials, 10,000 full-color maps have been printed and will be distributed free, while they last, at the township hall and at local business map sponsors. The interactive maps also will be available online through links that will be provided on the WFBA and township web sites.
“This is a service to the community from the West Flint Business Association and no public dollars were used to produce the publication for the township,” said Jerry Preston, chairman of a nine-member committee that worked for about a year to gather enough business advertisers to pay for the map.
Deb Nebraski, assistant to township supervisor Karyn Miller, came up with the idea and made the initial contact with NovoPrint USA of Wisconsin, the map printer. While working in real estate, Nebraski used similar maps at Open Houses to show nearby points of interest to potential home buyers. Chambers of Commerce from Grand Blanc, Lansing and Ann Arbor are among Michigan municipalities already signed up with NovoPrint.
Nebraski shared the idea with Miller who convened a meeting with the WFBA to get them onboard.
“We decided it was better to have WFBA promote businesses since we were not in the marketing field,’’ said Nebraski, who served on the committee with Miller, Tracey Tucker, township economic enhancement director, Preston and several WFBA members. Phil Jackson, a longtime WFBA member, played a leading role in selling ads and Preston’s “ determination was what got us to the finish line, “she said.
“By making it a WFBA project, we could handle all of the business aspects of this type of a project and not have to jump through some of the hoops that the Township might have to do under their government procurement requirements,” Preston said.
“The Township wanted this as a tool for visitors to their office and as a way of providing information to prospective business considering locating in the Township. WFBA thought it would be good for our business as an advertising vehicle and to help identify and promote the township. It was a win-win for both organizations.”
The front of the map is a collage depicting major township players — Genesee Valley Center shopping mall, Baker College, Vehicle City Harley- Davidson, Bishop International Airport and Patsy Lou Williamson’s dealership. Information is also provided about attractions including Rave Theater and motels and hotels.
“Key highlights/features of the printed map — Bike Trail, Canoe Launch, schools and a street index and points of interest index — so you can locate them quickly,” Preston said.
The online map will have interactive links to all the businesses that purchased map ads, Nebraski said. Any proceeds from ads wlll go to the WFBA scholarship fund.
“(Print and online map versions) will be a great tool for people who do not use the Internet and will help guests who are visiting our area as well as being available to those who prefer the internet,” Nebraski said.