rolling and construction was completed by the end of
the summer 2015.
“It really was a stone-soup project,” says Pontius. “We had
something to offer and others all added something, too.
I know they say ‘it takes a village’, but in this case, that’s
Suttons Bay Village Manager Wally Delamater agrees. He said
the project shows “simple success when working together.”
“Private and public funding partnerships set an example
of working together. This collaborative example was used
to leverage other aspects of the project.”
The total project cost was approximately $12,000.
The NAR grant and TAAR funds were used to restore the
iconic red phone booth and provide signage that is protected from the elements and accessible year round. The
Chamber also contributed some funds. The village provided the concrete for the site and a local company donated
heavy equipment time. A nearby local business donated
landscaping materials. The owner of land adjacent to the
rest stop granted permission for an easement that made
the placement of the site possible. And volunteers added
time and muscle. The result was an attractive rest area and
popular photo stop.
“Previously when folks arrived in Suttons Bay, they
would say ‘now what’? says Pontius. “Now they have a
place to take a break. And the phone booth is a wildly
popular spot for selfies.”
It’s often difficult for small communities to get the seed
money needed to launch civic improvement projects.
In addition to funds, strong community partnerships
are essential to success.
“Small communities can usually come up with volunteers but seem to always fall short on funds,” Delamater
explains. “The NAR grant was a catalyst to not only
generate local support in rehabilitation of the phone
booths, but provided a funding partnership between
the public and private sector to establish the rest area
kiosk as a welcome to Suttons Bay.”
Suttons Bay’s welcoming rest stop doesn’t appear to be
the end of the line. Pontius explains that the project’s
success is serving as the impetus to restore another of
the red phone booths. Working together, leaders from
the private and public sectors have come together in a
true community partnership that has created a lasting
Photo by David Cornwell Photo by Bruce Bodjack