Wednesday, August 25, 2004
$100,000 Grant Awarded to Promote Creative Urban Development
On behalf of Governor Jennifer M. Granholm, Department of Labor and Economic Growth director David Hollister and officials from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation presented a $100,000 grant to the city of Bay City as part of the Governor's Cool Cities pilot program. The program, designed to foster the development of vibrant, attractive cities and urban centers, is a key element of the Governor's overall economic development strategy for Michigan.
"These grants will help bolster local efforts to create more inviting downtown centers that will attract investment and jobs creation," Granholm said. "This funding helps build the momentum of successful urban development and is a great opportunity to bring jobs and investment to Michigan's cool communities."
Bay City will use the Cool Cities funding to help develop a park along a blighted stretch of property next to the Saginaw River. The 5,800 square foot site located at the terminus of Third Street will become Waterfall Park, a pedestrian-only plaza featuring a waterfall and a staging area for public performances. The park will also feature an accessible deck behind the waterfall that extends over the river.
"Waterfront property is our most precious resource,"said Bay City Deputy City Manager Steve Black. "We are very excited and grateful to receive the Cool Cities designation."
In addition to the state grant, Bay City will have access to a resource toolbox that includes more than 75 of the state's community improvement grant, loan and assistance programs. These resources can be leveraged and strategically directed to revitalization projects that offer the best opportunity for success.
A multi-agency team reviewed 151 project applications from 112 Michigan communities. Twenty finalists were chosen that demonstrated close partnerships with community organizations and the private sector, and offered the best plans for creating large scale neighborhood or community improvements.
"All of the applications were truly outstanding," Hollister said. "Bay City's unique project will have a positive effect on the community for many years to come."
Teams associated with projects not designated as part of the pilot program are eligible to attend an educational and training session in Lansing later this month. They will meet with representatives from DLEG and MEDC along with the 14 participating state departments to discuss how they can improve their applications for the next round of grants and determine what other resources might be available to them.
"It has been great to work with all the diverse state agencies to make Cool Cities a success," said MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway. "Pooling our resources and knowledge makes sense. It is one of the best examples of multi-agency cooperation I've seen."
Additional projects designated to receive Cool Cities funding are in Alpena, Detroit, Ferndale, Flint, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Kalamazoo, Marquette, Port Huron, Portland, Saginaw, Saugatuck, Sault Ste. Marie, Traverse City, Warren and Ypsilanti. Detailed information about each project is available at www.coolcities.com.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation, 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.