Stories indexed with the term ‘federal grant’

County Helps SPARK with Federal Grant

Washtenaw County is applying for a $940,000 federal grant on behalf of Ann Arbor SPARK, the local economic development agency. Funds would be used to help redevelop the former General Motors Willow Run Powertrain plant in Ypsilanti Township for use as a connected vehicle testing facility.

The Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant is available through the National Infrastructure Investments Program of the U.S. Department of Transportation. SPARK asked that the county’s office of community & economic development (OCED) act as the lead applicant and fiscal agent. OCED already submitted the grant application – on April 25, 2014. According to a staff memo, “due to the grant application deadline, it was not possible to bring the matter before the [board ... [Full Story]

County to Get Homeland Security Grant

Washtenaw County commissioners have given initial approval to authorize the acceptance of $444,215 from the federal homeland security grant program, to fund projects and positions in the county sheriff’s office for a period from Sept. 1, 2013 through May 31, 2015. The action came at the county board’s March 5, 2014 meeting. A final vote is expected on March 19.

According to a staff memo, each project was reviewed and recommended by Washtenaw County’s homeland security task force. Major allocations include $117,983 for the Washtenaw County Technical Rescue Team; $107,704 for Washtenaw County Sheriff Emergency Services; and $90,000 to continue funding an existing crime analyst position in the sheriff’s office. The position is dedicated to the Detroit/Southeast Michigan Fusion Center, which coordinates crime analysis efforts and regional … [Full Story]

“Tree Town” Gets $50K USDA Grant for Pruning

At least 100 large trees in Ann Arbor’s public right-of-way will be pruned with a $50,000 grant from the USDA Forestry Service. The city council authorized the receipt of the grant at its Dec. 16, 2013 meeting

The pruning program would target those trees in the public right-of-way that are most in need of pruning (Priority 1). The initiative is also focused on the larger of the city’s street trees – those bigger than 20 inches in diameter. Those are the trees that have the greatest impact on the mitigation of stormwater.

According to the staff memo accompanying the resolution, the city of Ann Arbor has over 46,600 street trees, counting street trees and those in parks. According to the staff memo: … [Full Story]

Weatherization Grant Gets Initial Approval

Washtenaw County commissioners have given initial approval to accept $185,654 in funds for the county’s weatherization assistance program. The unanimous vote came at the board’s April 17, 2013 meeting, with final approval expected on May 1.

The funding roughly equals the amount of federal weatherization dollars that the county received in 2012, which was a decrease of about 65% compared to 2011 federal funding levels. The current funding is allocated through the 2013 Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). The county last received LIHEAP funding in 2010, but has received weatherization grants from other federal funding sources in the intervening years.

For the period from April 1, 2013 to June 30, 2014, the program is expected to weatherize 27 homes. According … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Rail to Get Funding, Popular Vote

A study that’s required as part of Ann Arbor’s approach to building a new train station will move forward with a funding resolution passed by the city council at its Oct. 15, 2012 meeting. The same resolution also includes a clause stating that the construction of a new train station would be put to a popular referendum before proceeding.

The budget amendment, which passed with exactly the eight votes it needed on the 11-member council, allocated $550,000 in new matching funds for a federal grant. The grant had been awarded through the Federal Railroad Administration’s High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program. Dissenting on the vote were Jane Lumm (Ward 2) and Mike Anglin (Ward 5). Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3) was absent.

The … [Full Story]

Council May Seek Voter OK On Rail Station

If a study essential for a new train station in Ann Arbor is to move forward, the city will need to identify several hundred thousand dollars in required local matching funds – for up to $2,806,400 in federal grant money. The Ann Arbor city council is set to consider allocating more funds at its Oct. 15 meeting, in a resolution that also includes a commitment to ask for voter approval before building the station.

The city now needs to provide around $550,000 in new matching funds in order to receive the federal money to complete the work. The federal grant funds are still available – and according to the Federal Railroad Administration (FRA), the intent is to work with the city of Ann Arbor to see the project through to completion.

The Ann Arbor city council had voted 9-2 to accept the federal money – through the FRA’s High-Speed Intercity Passenger Rail (HSIPR) program – at its June 4, 2012 meeting. That acceptance was based on the understanding that around $701,600 in already-expended city funds could count toward a required 20% match.

But now the FRA has informed the city that none of its previously incurred expenses are eligible to count toward the match on the grant, which would fund completion of a preliminary engineering and environmental assessment for a new rail station in Ann Arbor.

Responding to an emailed query from The Chronicle, Ann Arbor mayor John Hieftje indicated that a resolution will appear on the city council’s Oct. 15 meeting agenda that addresses the determination made by the FRA. The resolution reflects both a financial and a political strategy. The financial strategy is to allocate money from the city’s general fund budget. The political strategy includes a commitment in the resolution to submit the construction of a new rail station to a popular vote. The political component of the strategy is related to the fact that the proposed  Fuller Road location  for the new rail station is city parkland. [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Airport Study OK’d by Council

Ann Arbor’s municipal airport was back on the city council’s Aug. 20, 2012 agenda, possibly the last time for a long while to come. That was expected, based on action taken earlier this year in April. The first of two agenda items on Aug. 20 was the fifth of five different grant contracts for the completion of an environmental assessment (EA) related to a possible 800-foot extension of the runway. The $42,500 in the grant consists of $40,375 in federal funds, $1,062 in state funds and a local match of $1,063.

That item was approved by the council with dissent from Stephen Kunselman (Ward 3), Jane Lumm (Ward 2) and Sabra Briere (Ward 1).

A second airport-related item on the council’s agenda involved … [Full Story]

North-South Rail Planning Gets Boost

A somewhat unexpected $640,000 federal grant to the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority and Michigan Dept. of Transportation will allow continued planning and study for the WALLY (Washtenaw and Livingston Railway) project. The grant was announced on Aug. 6, 2012 and was awarded under the Transportation, Community and System Preservation (TCSP) Program. AATA had applied for the grant last November, but did not have high expectations, given the competitive nature of the grants.

Taking advantage of the grant award, as well as other funds that the AATA had allocated at its June 21, 2012 for such work, the AATA board voted at its Aug. 16, 2012 meeting to award a $105,200 contract to SmithGroup JJR for “station location and design services” in connection with the WALLY … [Full Story]

County Accepts Weatherization Grant

At its Aug. 1, 2012 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners authorized the acceptance of $289,800 in additional federal funds for the county’s weatherization program. The funds will allow the county to weatherized 26 housing units for low-income residents.

The money is available through the 2009 American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA), also known as the federal stimulus program. It’s a redistribution of funding that had previously been awarded to other communities but was not used. In total since 2009, Washtenaw County has received $5,053,338 in ARRA funding for its weatherization program, and has served 721 housing units. The program is administered through the office of community and economic development, a joint county/city of Ann Arbor department.

According to a staff memo, … [Full Story]

County OKs Interim Head Start Changes

Following up on previous discussions about the future of Washtenaw Head Start, the county board of commissioners approved changes to the program from Aug. 1, 2012 through July 31, 2013 – an interim period during which the county will continue to manage Head Start before handing it over to another administrative entity. The action was taken at the board’s July 11, 2012 meeting, as part of authorizing a federal grant application for the program. Ronnie Peterson cast the sole vote against the changes, and objected strenuously to any program cuts.

Separately, the board unanimously passed a resolution supporting the selection of the Washtenaw Intermediate School District as the next local Head Start administrator. The selection will be made by federal Head … [Full Story]

Greenbelt Group Briefed on Regional Transit

Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission meeting (July 5, 2012): When Dan Ezekiel called the July meeting to order by noting that it was “a hot, steamy day in Tree Town,” only five of the nine commissioners were on hand. Although it was hoped that a sixth member might show up eventually, no one did.

Dan Ezekiel, Michael Ford

From left: Dan Ezekiel, chair of the Ann Arbor greenbelt advisory commission, talks with Michael Ford, CEO of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. (Photos by the writer.)

That meant GAC did not have the six members required by the Michigan Open Meetings Act to enter into a closed session to discuss potential land acquisition, so Thursday’s meeting was much shorter than it would have otherwise been.

The main portion of the meeting included a presentation by Michael Ford, CEO of the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority. At GAC’s request, he briefed commissioners about the AATA’s efforts to develop a countywide public transit system, giving an overview similar to one he has delivered to many other government entities and community groups. The Ann Arbor greenbelt program preserves land in rural areas outside of the city limits, so commissioners were interested in hearing about how public transportation might expand there.

The meeting also included staff updates and news that two greenbelt properties have received funding from a federal grant program totaling nearly $400,000. [Full Story]

AATA Connector Study to Move Ahead

Pending the signing of a memorandum of understanding with the city of Ann Arbor and the University of Michigan, the Ann Arbor Transportation Authority will be moving ahead with an alternatives analysis of a connector study – for the corridor running from US-23 and Plymouth southward along Plymouth to State Street and farther south to I-94. The alternatives analysis phase will result in a preferred choice of technology (e.g., bus rapid transit, light rail, etc.) and identification of stations and stops.

That study will move forward, based on a total of $300,000 of local funding that has been identified to provide the required match for a $1.2 million federal grant awarded last year for the alternatives analysis phase. The breakdown of local support … [Full Story]

Project LIFT Grant Application Approved

At its June 6, 2012 meeting, the Washtenaw County board of commissioners gave final approval to apply for a $1,348,853 federal grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor to fund Project LIFT, a jobs training and service program for juvenile ex-offenders run by the county sheriff’s office. The program aims to serve 100 youth. [.pdf of program description] The grant application had received initial approval at the board’s May 16, 2012 meeting.

A staff memo notes that while Washtenaw County “has the best employment rates compared to its neighbors, it also has the highest rate of criminal recidivism in the state, with 80% of released prisoners being re-imprisoned 2-3 years later. In addition, many at-risk youth reside in communities that serve … [Full Story]

Ann Arbor Receives Firefighter Grant

In a press release issued on May 30, 2012, Michigan’s U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin announced the award of a $642,294 federal grant to the city of Ann Arbor to hire new firefighters. The grant comes through the Staffing for Adequate Fire and Emergency Response (SAFER) program. How that money translates to firefighter positions is not yet completely clear.

Reached by email, city administrator Steve Powers indicated that the city’s application had been for three firefighter positions for what he believed to be two-year grant period. Ann Arbor’s unit cost for a firefighter full-time equivalent is $79,599 per FTE. For a two-year grant period, that would translate to almost exactly four firefighters for each of two … [Full Story]

Federal Justice Grant Gets Final OK

Final approval to apply for an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grant was given by the Washtenaw County board of commissioners at their Sept. 7, 2011 meeting.

The $42,587 grant would be awarded to the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office by the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The funds would be used to support the sheriff’s community outreach program, according to a staff memo. Specifically, the grant would fund a part-time community engagement coordinator and two of the program’s five peer outreach workers.

No one spoke during a public hearing at the meeting to get input on how the grant will be used.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the county administration building at 220 N. Main in Ann … [Full Story]

Grant OK’d for Sheriff’s Community Outreach

Initial approval to apply for an Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance grant was given by the Washtenaw County board of commissioners at their Aug. 3, 2011 meeting. A final vote is expected at their next board meeting on Sept. 7.

The $42,587 grant would be awarded to the Washtenaw County sheriff’s office by the U.S. Dept. of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The funds would be used to support the sheriff’s community outreach program, according to a staff memo. Specifically, the grant would fund a part-time community engagement coordinator and two of the program’s five peer outreach workers.

Commissioners also set a public hearing for Sept. 7 to get input on how the grant will be used.

This brief was filed from the boardroom of the … [Full Story]

What’s a Land Bank?

Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners administrative briefing (July 1, 2009): The county’s administrative staff have rearranged their offices a bit, which bumped Wednesday’s administrative briefing into a new location – a room that, unlike their previous meeting place, had windows. “Oh, it’s so bright in here – we’ll need sunglasses!” commissioner Kristin Judge said upon walking into the room.

The briefing also provided a window into the agenda for the upcoming July 8 board meeting. County treasurer Catherine McClary was on hand to brief commissioners on a land bank proposal she’ll be bringing to the board. They also were updated on several state and federal grants the county is receiving or applying for, and discussed a proposed food worker certification program. And following the briefing, a discussion about the committee appointments process brought to light a practice that some commissioners questioned – and resulted in a decision to more strictly enforce application deadlines.

We’ll start with the land bank. [Full Story]

County, City Get Funds for Foreclosure Rehab

Administrative briefing, County Board of Commissioners (Feb. 25, 2009): Washtenaw County is receiving a $3 million federal grant to buy and rehab foreclosed homes, destroy blighted buildings and redevelop demolished or vacant buildings. The funds would be used in Ypsilanti, Ypsilanti Township and Superior Township, which are areas designated as high priorities by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development (HUD). Separately, the city of Ann Arbor was awarded $850,000 under the same program.

News of the county grant came during an informal administrative briefing for county commissioners on Wednesday, a gathering that also featured an exploding pen and a word that one commissioner described as sounding like a sexually transmitted disease. [Full Story]