Ishpeming facade grant proposal to be adjusted

MARQUETTE – The Marquette County Board is scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to amend the amount of a grant application for an Ishpeming building facade improvement program after two of the owners have withdrawn their properties from current project consideration.

The county is facilitating submission of the Community Development Block Grant grant application on behalf of the city of Ishpeming. Initially, seven properties were involved in the project, which requires matching funds from building owners.

The federal grant money being applied for was initially to fund exterior improvements to seven downtown Ishpeming buildings. The property owners were to match the $1.023 million in federal funds requested with at least $664,792 in private investment and at least $8,400 from the city of Ishpeming.

“Since two of the participants have removed themselves from the project, there are now three less buildings and the overall project budget is being reduced,” Marquette County Administrator Scott Erbisch said in a memo to the board. “The original grant request was for just over $1 million. The total adjusted grant request is now $413,490.”

The property owners will contribute a total of $177,848 and the match from the city will be $4,800.

The county is scheduled to consider the grant revision when it meets at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Room 231 of the Henry Skewis Annex to the Marquette County Courthouse.

Erbisch said today the reason the owners pulled out of the project was because they were not far enough along in their facade renovation plans and waiting would slow down the application process for all of the property owners.

Erbisch said the grant program would allow the property owners to re-apply in the future.

The three properties removed from the project list are at 112 S. Main St., 120 S. Main St. and the former Mather Inn property at 107 E. Canda St.

Properties remaining in the project include those situated at 308 E. Cleveland Ave., 115 E. Cleveland Ave., 121 S. Main St. and 101 N. Main St.

The resolution the county will consider said the project will “clearly eliminate determinable signs of blight and specific instances of blight.”

A hearing on the grant application was held Jan. 21 by the county board, when no adverse comments about the project were received.

The resolution said no project costs, grant or non-grant, will be incurred prior to a formal grant award, completion of environmental review procedures and formal authorization to incur costs has been provided by the grant project manager.

John Pepin can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 206.