Friday, October 15, 2004
Fennville, Hart, Pentwater and Saginaw County Efforts Supported by Funding
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced $85,000 in federal funding to support economic development planning activities in the cities of Fennville and Hart, the village of Pentwater, and Saginaw County. The grants are being made available through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the Community Development Block Grant Program.
"We must equip our communities with the necessary tools to attract investment and jobs," Granholm said. "Innovative planning is essential for business districts to remain vibrant and economically strong."
The following projects were announced today:
The city of Fennville will use a $15,000 grant to help finance a study of the city's long-term wastewater capacity. The goal is to determine if the city needs to upgrade the system to accommodate the growth of its industrial and commercial customers. Fennville will provide a $15,000 match to help fund the study.
The city of Hart plans to conduct a downtown marketing and feasibility study with a $10,000 grant. The grant will be used to identify the market areas of the downtown district, analyze the existing businesses and examine the demographics of the area in order to attract new business and jobs. The city will contribute an additional $10,000 to the project.
The village of Pentwater will use a $10,000 grant to conduct a marketing and feasibility study. The objective is to determine how the village can create and maintain a year-round business climate. Pentwater will contribute an additional $10,000 to the project.
Saginaw County will benefit from a $50,000 grant to perform a countywide planning study to develop and assess the medical and health care economy. It will identify key trends in the industry and ways to attract the investment of specific healthcare services and medical device firms. The county will contribute an additional $50,000 to the study.
"Michigan's smaller communities have great potential to become magnets for investment and jobs," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "Providing them with funding to perform useful market and infrastructure studies is essential to smart economic growth."
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation administers the state's Community Development Block Grant funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. These federal 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.
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced a seven-point plan for making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. So far this year, the Governor and the MEDC have announced the creation or retention of approximately 29,514 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
The MEDC is able to award up to approximately $50 million in federal CDBG funds each year. There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for these funds. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
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.