Wednesday, February 23, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Improvements Needed for Future Development in City
Governor Jennifer Granholm today announced $1 million in federal funding that will be matched by the city of Saginaw to finance a road and public infrastructure project aimed at bringing more jobs and investment to the city. The Community Development Block Grant being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will be used to repair East Genesee Avenue (Dixie Highway), an important roadway that connects Saginaw with several other communities in the area.
"This project will repair a major economic artery in the community," Granholm said. "With this investment, we are helping to pump new businesses, jobs and an improved quality of life into the city of Saginaw."
The grant will be used to complete reconstruction of one mile of East Genesee Avenue between Hartsuff Street and Webber Street. The city will match the grant with an additional $1 million to replace the current watermain in place since the late 1800's. The improvements will support the continuous development of the city's Neighborhood of Choice, now known as a Michigan Blueprint Neighborhood, an element of the Governor's comprehensive Cool Cities initiative. The goal of the Blueprints program is to improve neighborhoods adjacent to traditional downtowns to enhance the economic vitality of the entire community.
"This Governor intends to make Saginaw a Cool City, and we love it!" Saginaw Mayor Wilmer Jones Ham said.
Saginaw City Manager Cecil A. Collins praised the economic boost the project will provide to the community.
"A project of this magnitude signifies a major commitment on behalf of the city and state to revitalize the East Genesee Avenue corridor for business development," he said.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation 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.
"Helping communities throughout Michigan improve public roads and utilities is one way the state helps improve local business climates," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "I applaud city leaders for their commitment to make Saginaw an even better location for businesses and residents."
In her 2005 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. In the past 12 months the Governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 80,423 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
Governor Granholm's Cool Cities program is an initiative to grow the economy and keep young, educated workers in the state by fostering the development of vibrant, attractive cities and urban centers. For more information on Cool Cities Blueprints for Michigan's Neighborhoods, please visit 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.