Thursday, July 14, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
Federal Funds Support State Public Works Initiative
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a $768,000 grant that will enable the city of Iron River to make improvements to its public sewer system as part of the Michigan Public Works Program. A federal Community Development Block Grant being made available through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation will back the project, which is expected to create new economic opportunities for the community.
"The economic success of our communities depends on the quality of our public infrastructure," Granholm said. "This investment in Iron River will build a solid foundation for creating future growth and jobs in the community"
Improvements to the sewer system will include replacing more than 12,000 linear feet of existing collection piping along portions of Lalley and Ice Lake roads. The city and the Iron County Task Force will contribute an additional $430,000 to support the project.
"The financial assistance provided through Governor Granholm's Public Works Initiative will allow the city to implement critical upgrades to its 80 year old system that would have otherwise taken years to finance through increased user fees," Iron River City Manager John Archocosky said. "More importantly, these improvements are necessary to provide the infrastructure required to attract new industry to our city."
Iron River was one of 33 Michigan communities announced in February to receive Michigan Public Works funding, one part of the Governor's $30 million, two-pronged Grow Michigan Communities Initiative that also includes funding for Michigan's Downtowns and Gateways. The MEDC 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.
"This is a tremendous project for Iron River," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "These much-needed improvements will create opportunities for growth that will benefit the entire community for many years to come."
In addition to the CDBG funding announced today, Iron River was among nine communities chosen to participate in the 2005 Cool Cities Blueprints for Michigan's Downtowns initiative. The designation, announced in June, gives the city an opportunity to utilize $15,000 to work with a nationally recognized downtown consulting firm to formulate an action-oriented strategy or "blueprint" to revitalize their downtown.
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 53,000 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.