By: Benjamin J. Gohs, Associate Editor
Boyne City officials had hoped $719,000 in a state grant would help fund major improvements to one local street, but that won’t be happening this year.
It has nothing to do with the project’s worthiness, the Michigan Economic Development Corporation simply has no more money to give this grant cycle.
“Since our last city commission meeting the MEDC has notified us that they have used up all the money that they were planning on allocating for the downtown improvement grants (DIG) … that we had just submitted an application for,” Cain said. “The application we had submitted was for rebuilding south Park Street from Water Street south to Pine.”
He added, “They do not anticipate having funds available for any future DIG projects until sometime next fall.”
Cain said the MEDC will continue to rank the applications that they have received.
“They will be notifying communities of the results of that process in February,” he said. “We will take that into account as we’re working on our budget.”
Cain added, “It was kind of frustrating to go through all that work, put the application together, submit that paperwork and then have them flip-flop and say they don’t have any money any more.”
Newly-elected Boyne City Commissioner Tom Neidhamer asked if the application remained active.
Cain said it will unless the city chooses to pull it.
“I don’t see any advantage for us doing that at this point,” Cain said.
In a previous Boyne City Gazette story on the matter, Cain said Park Street, “is probably the worst street that we have remaining in the downtown area.”
In addition to issues of the street top itself, there are repairs below – water and sewer lines – which need to be addressed.
“It requires a deep dig similar to what we had on Water and Lake streets previously,” Cain had said.
DIG funds may be used only for downtown related infrastructure improvements.
City officials have agreed the street is in dire need of attention.
Monies will again be available through the DIG funding next autumn.