46 ICE projects chosen from 111

Published 7:25 am Friday, July 31, 2009

LANSING – Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced Thursday that 46 communities, including Dowagiac, will receive more than $14.1 million federal funding in support of public infrastructure projects to create jobs while building the foundation for a stronger economy.

The Community Development Block Grant funding is made available through the Michigan Economic Development Corp.

“Dynamic communities are the engine of Michigan’s continued economic success,” Granholm said. “Investment in public infrastructure is critical to attracting investment and creating new jobs in our state.”

The 46 communities were chosen from 111 applicants to receive funding.
Grant recipients were selected on their overall eligibility and the impact the project would have on the community.

Priority was given to projects that are ready to begin construction, have sufficient local matching funds and have completed preliminary cost estimates.

The Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement program, formerly known as the Public Works program, benefits cities, villages and townships where at least 51 percent of the population is comprised of low- and moderate-income residents as defined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

The funds may be used for projects that upgrade existing public infrastructure systems by replacing deteriorating or obsolete systems or by adding capacity to existing but burdened systems.

To date, $62.4 million has been awarded to communities across the state through the Public Works and Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement programs.

“Even Michigan’s smaller communities must compete for job-creating investment in today’s global economy,” MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. “This funding will help them address the cost of upgrading their public facilities.”

MEDC administers the state’s Community Development Block Grant funds received from HUD.
These funds are used to provide grants 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.
Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.

The Michigan Economic Development Corp., a partnership between the state and local communities, promotes smart economic growth by developing strategies and providing services to create and retain good jobs and a high quality of life.
For more information on MEDC initiatives and programs, visit the Web site at www.TheMedc.org.

City Manager Kevin Anderson said Dowagiac applied for improvements to utilities and paving on Uneta (by the nursing home), Solomon (by Patrick Hamilton Elementary School) and Wolf (by the new fire station and Northwest Park soccer fields) streets.

Matching funds of $160,000 come from next year’s budget. Several components of this grant are water and sewer utility improvements. Portions of the match will come from improvement reserve funds.

Anderson said a portion of the fire station improvement funding included an allocation for street paving.

These funds will now be used as match for the full street reconstruction.

Dowagiac, with 56 percent low- and moderate-income residents, is to receive $340,000, with a $160,000 match.

Vandalia garnered $16,780 with a $4,000 match for street improvements.