Dowagiac, Marcellus awarded state grant funds

Published 11:58 am Thursday, January 6, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Niles Daily Star
DOWAGIAC - State Rep. Neal Nitz Wednesday announced the Michigan Economic Development Corp. (MEDC) awarded the City of Dowagiac a $10,000 federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG).
Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm announced two grants for Cass County communities totaling $25,000 to support economic development planning and marketing activities to revitalize the downtowns of Dowagiac and Marcellus.
Dowagiac will use its $10,000 grant to perform a downtown study that will help the city market the central business district.
The city will contribute an additional $10,000 to finance the market study, which will produce data on everything from the feasibility of converting the Goerlich Building warehouse into a mix of commercial and residential space to the possibility of recruiting a movie theater.
A $15,000 grant will help the Village of Marcellus conduct a planning study for its downtown.
The goal of that study is to provide direction for continued redevelopment efforts aimed at bringing additional investment and jobs to the downtown in the northeastern part of the county.
MEDC administers the state's CDBG funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).
These funds are used to provide grants and loans to eligible counties, cities, villages and townships - typically those with populations less than 50,000 - for economic development, community development and housing projects.
Larger communities receive block grant funds directly from the federal government.
MEDC is able to award approximately $50 million in federal CDBG funds each year.
There are 1,655 local governments within Michigan eligible to apply for these funds. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
In her 2004 State of the State address, Granholm announced her plan to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century.
In 2004, the governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 54,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance the MEDC provided.