Governor Gretchen Whitmer joins MEDC to announce 11 Michigan communities receiving nearly $15 million to upgrade water systems statewide

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

Michigan Strategic Fund approves CDBG funding for vital public infrastructure projects

LANSING, Mich. – Governor Gretchen Whitmer joined the Michigan Economic Development Corporation today in announcing that 11 communities around Michigan have been awarded nearly $15 million in Community Development Block Grant Water-Related Infrastructure grant funds to make necessary water-related infrastructure improvements.

“Improving and updating our infrastructure is vital to the health of our residents and critical to the economic success of our communities,” said Gov. Whitmer. “These MEDC grants will support infrastructure improvements that will have an immediate impact and help ensure the long-term wellbeing of our residents and our communities. Today’s investments will help 11 communities across the state bolster access to safe drinking water.”

The CDBG Water-Related Infrastructure program assists low- and moderate-income communities in making improvements or upgrades to their existing water, sewer, and wastewater public infrastructure systems. Grants are awarded to eligible communities on a competitive basis and are able to be used to improve or replace water lines, water mains and related facilities, and sanitary and storm sewer lines and related facilities.

A total of 61 communities applied for grants totaling $87.5 million. The applications were scored with an emphasis on percentage of low- to moderate-income residents and improvements or repairs related to health, sanitation and security, aging infrastructure, and capacity concerns. To be considered for a grant, communities were required to have a locally approved Capital Improvements Plan, contribute a local minimum match of 10 percent of total project costs, demonstrate a maintenance plan for the project, and propose projects that benefitted the entire community. All projects must be completed by December 31, 2023.

The Michigan Strategic Fund also approved up to $550,000 in CDBG funds to provide administrative services to assist the communities with the compliance and administrative requirements of the awards.

“As we accelerate Michigan’s economic growth, it’s absolutely critical that we make investments in our infrastructure to support that growth and ensure a bright future for all Michiganders,” said Quentin L. Messer, Jr., CEO of MEDC and President and Chair of the MSF Board. “Today’s grants will allow these communities throughout our state to make the improvements needed to remain vibrant and attractive places for businesses to invest and where talent wants to live, work, visit and play.”

2021 Water-Related Infrastructure Grant winners:


Quotes from Communities:

City of Escanaba
“The city of Escanaba is grateful to have been selected as a recipient of CDBG funding for improvements to our water plant,” said Escanaba Water-Wastewater Superintendent Jeff Lampi. “MEDC's contribution will be of great help in providing safe, quality drinking water to our community. This grant has helped make this project possible at this time.”

City of Morenci
“The city of Morenci is very grateful to the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for this grant and the investment that they are making in the infrastructure of our community,” said Morenci City Administrator Michael Sessions. “This grant will benefit residents, as it will help the City of Morenci provide safe and reliable drinking water to all.”

City of Rogers City
“The WRI grant will have profound impacts on Rogers City’s entire water system. Not only will it allow us to replace nearly a mile of undersized 80-year-old unlined cast iron main through the heart of our water system, it will also create an appropriately-sized transmission line between all of the city water wells, improving the water service we provide our customers systemwide,” said Joe Hefele, city manager of Rogers City. “This is such an important project and we are incredibly grateful to the folks at MEDC and on the MSF board.”


About Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC)

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation is the state’s marketing arm and lead advocate for business development, job awareness and community development with the focus on growing Michigan’s economy. For more information on the MEDC and our initiatives, visit For Pure Michigan® tourism information, your trip begins at Join the conversation on: Facebook Instagram LinkedIn, and Twitter.