Grant to be used to eliminate buildings

MARQUETTE – The Michigan State Housing Development Authority has awarded a $143,000 grant to help demolish 11 buildings in five Upper Peninsula counties, including three blighted structures located in Marquette County.

Earlier this year, Marquette County submitted a 2014 Housing Resource Fund blight elimination grant application as the lead applicant from a counties’ consortium, which also includes Alger, Delta, Houghton and Gogebic counties.

In April, Marquette County Treasurer Anne Giroux said Marquette County would apply for $168,000 in funding to demolish residential homes on a dozen tax-foreclosed properties identified within the five counties.

The grant funding awarded was $25,000 less than what the county had originally anticipated because one property in Gogebic County was cut from the original list.

A 25 percent match is required for the grant.

“This funding will provide $143,000 from MSHDA with a local match of $39,738 toward the demolition of 11 blighted residential structures in five counties,” Giroux said in a memo to the Marquette County Board.

Marquette County plans to use its Tax Foreclosure Fund to finance its match.

Prior to disbursement of the grant funds, the county must have executed a memorandum of understanding with the other four counties involved. The Marquette County Board voted unanimously Tuesday to authorize the panel’s chairman to sign the grant agreement and the required memorandum.

Under the grant funding award, Marquette County will demolish three residences; one located in the 600 block of Republic Avenue in Republic Township, another in the 200 block of East Johnson Street in the city of Ishpeming and another Ishpeming home in the 100 block of Excelsior Street.

In addition, Alger County has one residence slated for demolition in Mathias Township, Delta County has one structure on the list in the city of Escanaba, Gogebic County has two properties in the city of Ironwood and one in the city of Bessemer and Houghton County has one residence in Adams Township, one in Franklin Township and one in the village of Lake Linden.

The authority announced in February grant funds were available. In April, the county board unanimously approved seeking the funds with the other four counties. Applications were due April 25.

The county has a housing plan and wants to continue implementing it to “provide safe, decent, affordable housing for its low to moderately low income residents,” according to the resolution to seek funding that the board OK’d in April. Part of the housing plan involves eliminating blight in neighborhoods affected by vacancy, vandalism and substandard housing.