Thursday, February 03, 2005
Michael Shore, MEDC
$351,000 Grant to Improve Parking Facilities, Attract New Business
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced $351,000 in community funding has been awarded to the city of White Cloud for improvements to a public parking lot, part of a downtown plan to attract new visitors and business investment.
"Investing in our downtowns is vital to creating cool cities in Michigan," Granholm said. "Increasing the available parking will help make retail and commercial locations in downtown White Cloud more accessible to customers."
The grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with funds provided by the federal Community Development Block Grant Program.
White Cloud will use the funding to reconstruct and enlarge an existing downtown public parking lot located at the corner of Wilcox and Gibbs streets. Improvements include removal and reconstruction of the pavement surface and installation of curbs, drainage and lighting. The city will contribute an additional $39,000 for engineering to support the project.
"The Downtown Development Authority and the city of White Cloud have worked hard to promote and enhance the downtown area," said Mayor Bob Baldwin. "We are pleased and honored to receive this grant and we are confident that it will enhance the economic viability of our community."
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.
"Michigan's downtowns represent a microcosm of the economy of the entire state," MEDC President and CEO Don Jakeway said. "This grant will help White Cloud improve the amenities of its central business district to bring in more business, jobs and residents."
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.
In her 2004 State of the State address, Governor Granholm announced her plan to make Michigan a global economic powerhouse in the 21st century. In 2004 the Governor and the MEDC announced the creation or retention of more than 54,000 jobs as a result of targeted assistance provided by the MEDC. Overall during 2004, the Governor announced the creation or retention of some 130,000 jobs by all state agencies.
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.