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E-M:/ FW: Governor announces 2006 Cool City designations

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From: gov_office@MICHIGAN.GOV [mailto:gov_office@MICHIGAN.GOV]
Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2006 5:10 PM
Subject: Governor announces 2006 Cool City designations



July 20, 2006


Governor Granholm Announces 23 Projects Selected as 2006 Cool Cities Designees


LANSING – Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced that 23 projects have been selected for the 2006 Cool Cities Grants and Program.  The Cool Cities designations are part of Granholm’s economic plan to revitalize Michigan’s cities by retaining and attracting jobs and people to grow Michigan’s economy. The 2006 Cool Cities designees estimate the program will assist in the creation of 456 full-time and 11 part-time jobs.


Michigan’s economic success is directly tied to our ability to attract and retain jobs and opportunities that will keep our young adults here in Michigan,” Granholm said. “The Cool Cities initiative is a critical tool for achieving vibrant cities, which attract job providers who in turn provide the opportunities that will grow our economy.”


A Cool Cities designation brings with it funding and a variety of “tool box” items provided by state agencies to help Michigan cities and neighborhoods achieve the projects outlined in their applications submitted for consideration by a review committee. The Cool Cities program utilizes existing state resources, which are used more efficiently through the collaboration of state agencies.


Now in its third year, the Cool Cities initiative offers a “Neighborhoods in Progress” designation, which awards $100,000 catalyst grants along with priority access to existing state grant funds, loans, tax credits, or services that can help create vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods. 


This year, sixteen projects have received the Cool Cities “Neighborhoods in Progress” designation and priority access to “tool box” items.  Twelve of the 16 will also each receive the catalyst grant of $100,000. The 12 projects receiving the Cool Cities Neighborhoods in Progress and catalyst grant are located in Benton Harbor, Detroit (3), Flint, Grand Rapids, Howell, Ionia, Lansing, Mount Clemens, Muskegon, and Pontiac. The four projects that received the Cool Cities designation and priority access to state resources, without the $100,000 catalyst funding are: Adrian, Cadillac, Dearborn and Saginaw.


“We had the funding available for 12 Neighborhoods in Progress, however we received 16 outstanding for proposals.  As a result, we opted to add Adrian, Dearborn, Cadillac, and Saginaw projects as Cool Cities designees to assist their projects with the resources we have available including priority access and technical assistance,” said Department of Labor & Economic Growth Director Robert W. Swanson. “We’ve learned from past Cool Cities projects that just the designation alone gives them an opportunity to leverage significant investment into their communities.” 


The cities participating in the first year of the program say the Cool Cities designation helped create 400 new jobs and retain 500 existing jobs. They also reported more than $350 million was contributed by local, state, and private organizations.


The Cool Cities program was expanded in 2005 with new categories: Cool Cities Michigan Main Street and Cool Cities Blueprints for Michigan’s Downtowns. Like the Neighborhoods in Progress, designees in these categories will participate in a State Resource Fair and receive the “Cool Cities Neighborhood” designation as well as special consideration for certain Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) programs.


2006 Cool Cities Michigan Main Street: Lansing’s Old Town and Iron Mountain. These projects will receive more than $200,000 in technical assistance and training as part of a long-term management approach to revitalizing and maintaining a successful downtown through organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring.


• 2006 Cool Cities Blueprints for Michigan’s Downtowns: Charlevoix, Muskegon Heights, Oscoda, Petoskey, and Tecumseh.  Based on a market driven approach, MSHDA and consulting staff team up to provide a public process, and action–oriented strategy to revitalize the downtown in a 3 – 5 year period including a market study for the downtown.  Designees receive a 50/50 match and MSHDA pays for half the consultant fee.


The Cool Cities initiative breaks down the silos of state government by having a multi-agency team review each application.  The team looks for proposals that demonstrate close partnerships with existing community organizations and the private sector and offer plans for creating large-scale neighborhood or community improvement.


“This initiative is key to the Governor’s overall economic development strategy, and we are pleased that we can be of assistance to cities that want to bring back their downtowns and neighborhoods,” said MSHDA Executive Director Michael R. DeVos. “The Cool Cities initiative is an excellent example of what can happen when state agencies and local governments and development organizations work together to bring jobs and people to their communities.”


Following are brief descriptions of the Cool City Neighborhoods in Progress recipients:



See http://www.michigan.gov/gov/0,1607,7-168--147702--,00.html