Michigamme Twp. receives DIG grant for streetscape project

MICHIGAMME – Michigamme Township received a $258,581 Downtown Infrastructure Grant check Friday for a streetscape improvement project set to get under way by the middle of this summer.

The township grant award was one of 14 announced Friday by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the only grant of the group awarded in the Upper Peninsula. The grants totaled $7.6 million statewide and were approved by the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Michigamme Township Supervisor Alvar Maki said the Michigamme Township Downtown Development Authority had applied for the streetscape grant.

“The application included replacing sidewalks, new energy efficient lighting, stormwater filtering and retaining rain gardens, handicap accessible sidewalk ramps and gateway signage,” Maki said.

The township will provide a $65,000 match to the grant funding provided through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation.

A check presentation ceremony occurred Friday morning at the township community building on West Main Street in Michigamme.

The grants statewide were provided for public infrastructure improvements.

“These grants will improve Michigan downtowns and spur additional economic growth in the surrounding areas,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a news release. “The DIG program helps make our communities more attractive for investments that create places where people want to live, work and play.”

The 14 communities receiving grants will provide a total of $2.7 million in matching funds. The projects will all be completed by the end of the year, are located in traditional downtown areas and will support reactivation of public areas and incorporate design elements.

The Michigan Strategic Fund received a total of 45 applications requesting a total of $18 million, with $5.5 million in matching funds and an additional $1 million in leveraged funds.

“The DIG program provides communities with a chance to grow and attract new business development in the downtown districts,” said MEDC President and CEO Michael Finney. “We look forward to working closely with these communities to contribute to their success.”

The DIG program is a Community Development Block Grant program intended for Michigan non-entitlement communities, which are specifically low-to-moderate income communities that do not receive funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

To be eligible, projects must benefit the entire community.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206. His email address is jpepin@miningjournal.net.