Wednesday, April 13, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Grants Support Public Improvements, Business Expansion on Main Street
"The planned improvements along Main Street will bring growth and jobs to Watervliet," Granholm said. "Investing in our community cores will support the creation of cool cities throughout Michigan."
A $174,000 grant will be used redevelop the Judd Lumber Yard on Main Street, which had been destroyed by fire. The site will be redeveloped into a mixed-use building. Additional property upgrades will include a publicly-owned parking lot, sidewalks, lighting and fencing to keep pedestrians away from the nearby railway. The developer, Dale R. McBride, will invest more than $5.6 million in the project. The city and the Watervliet DDA will provide an additional $19,400 for engineering costs. The project is expected to create nine new jobs.
"We're thrilled to see these developments occurring within downtown Watervliet," said Mayor, Glenn Openneer. "Brookfield Dodge has been a longtime Main Street business, and as part of this project, their dealership will become an even greater success. In addition, Dale McBride has a 20-year history of quality development with Watervliet. We are very happy to welcome both of these projects to the community."
Watervliet will also use a $75,000 grant to assist Brookfield Dodge with its expansion plans. The project includes relocating several power line poles located at the dealership, extending downtown lights and enhancing landscaping around the site. Brookfield will invest $50,000 in the expansion. The city and the DDA will provide an additional $10,000 for engineering and administrative costs. The project is expected to create five new jobs.
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 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.
The MEDC is able to award 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.
"Quality public resources are critical to strengthening Michigan downtowns," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "In addition to creating jobs, these projects will serve as vehicles to drive further development."
In her 2005 State of the State address, Granholm emphasized the importance of making Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. Since January 2005 the Governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 32,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC.
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.