Granholm Details Plan to Speed Job Creation; Highlights Environmental Cleanup Projects
47 projects will share $38 million in funding
LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today identified 47 environmental cleanup projects that will be completed around the state as part of her plan to create tens of thousands of jobs and jumpstart Michigan’s economy this year. Visiting Tri-Centennial Park in Detroit, the Governor said the environmental cleanup projects, included in the Jobs Today Initiative, are part of a broader strategy to spur a rapid infusion of public and private investment in badly needed infrastructure projects in the state.
“In communities across Michigan, valuable land which could be used to spur economic development sits idle as a result of environmental contamination,” said Granholm. “This plan not only puts scores of Michigan women and men to work in a variety of jobs, from the skilled trades to service and sales, but it accelerates cleanup of many of these contaminated sites. This is a plan to create new opportunities for economic development around the state that will put shovels in the ground and paychecks in workers’ pockets this construction season.”
Under the Governor’s plan, 47 imminent and substantial endangerment sites will share $38 million in funding through the Clean Michigan Initiative bond program. Among those sites are five in Wayne County that will share $4.6 million; six sites in Kent County that will share $2 million; two projects in Muskegon County that will share $2.4 million; and three projects in Livingston County that will share $2.2 million in funding. A complete list of the 47 imminent and substantial endangerment sites can be found at www.michigan.gov/gov .
In addition to the $38 million in environmental projects identified today, the Jobs Today Initiative includes two other environmental cleanup programs including:
• $75 million in funding of Brownfield grants and loans for cleanup and redevelopment, for which local communities must apply;
• $124 million in funding from the Refined Petroleum Fund for cleanup of polluted and abandoned gas stations that pose a threat to public safety.
“This is an excellent opportunity for local communities to take action on Brownfields, and we are hopeful they will take full advantage of this program and apply for these funds,” Granholm said.
The Jobs Today Initiative is a three-year program to accelerate the pace of state and local infrastructure projects that were scheduled to begin over the next decade and includes three areas of investment in environmental cleanup.
First announced in the Governor’s 2005 State of the State Address, the Jobs Today Initiative will create jobs in seven key areas, including: affordable housing construction and renovation; school improvement and repair; pollution cleanup; road improvements; long-term care facility construction and renovation; downtown development; and university campus improvements.
Granholm said last week’s 2005 budget agreement paved the way for many of the accelerated projects to begin this construction season. As part of the agreement, legislative approval was given to the $38 million in pollution cleanup projects as well as $220 million in projects to upgrade universities and community colleges. In addition,
Granholm said $400 million in accelerated road projects will also begin this year.
Granholm said she will ask the state Legislature to approve two key changes in the law to create incentives for local governments to accelerate their own infrastructure improvements: a change in the state’s School Bond Loan fund will make it easier for Michigan school districts to renovate aging school buildings without raising taxes, and a new provision to allow cities to expand the boundaries of their downtown development zones will spur new job creation and development projects.
“Jobs must be the first order of business for everyone in Michigan today,” Granholm said. “We can make our communities cleaner, safer, and more livable while we put people back to work.”
For more information visit www.michigan.gov/gov
# # #