Ludington, Scottville Downtown Projects Beneficiaries of Revitalization and Placemaking Grants

In a press release issued earlier today, it was announced:

Today The Right Place, Inc. (representing 13 Michigan counties in West Michigan) in collaboration with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) announced that The Right Place will receive $3.6 million in funding from the Revitalization and Placemaking (RAP) Program to help spur the development of 9 placemaking projects totaling over $10 million across the region. The funds were approved today in Lansing at a special Michigan Strategic Fund meeting.

RAP is an incentive program that deployed $100 million in American Rescue Plan funding to address the COVID-19 impacts in Michigan communities.

Two projects in Mason County received substantial funding to assist in their development.  In Scottville, Optimist Park (pictured above left) will receive $179,704 in assistance via the ARP funds.  In their application, Scottville officials noted:

The City of Scottville and the Scottville Downtown Development Authority are developing The Scottville Optimist Park & Sculpture project. Prior to covid, the bandshell on this property hosted various events like movies in the park, live music by local musicians, most notably the famous Scottville Clown Band. Unfortunately, Downtown Scottville has limited green spaces downtown, and this park area has always served as a central gathering place for the community. Its proximity to the businesses on Main Street, will bring crucial mass to the downtown area to patron businesses, allow for the community to hold new events, and has the potential to spur additional investment in downtown. As well liked as this park area is, it is undersized to offer safe social distancing and in dire need of repair. Creating this venue and space will provide a point of pride for the residents of Scottville and the surrounding area. It will attract visitors to our town and will help stimulate new economic growth for the downtown and surrounding area.

In Ludington, the alley south of the 100 block of West Ludington Avenue received about half of what they figured they needed to complete a project to revitalize the currently decrepit alley, $500.863 (pictured right, above).  City officials described this project as the following in their application:

The City of Ludington and the Ludington Downtown Development Authority plans to permanently improve a vacant alleyway that was temporarily converted during the COVID-19 pandemic. During covid, the alleyway became a seating area for take-out and outdoor dining. It was closed to vehicular traffic and became much more pedestrian friendly. This project will make the space permanently pedestrian friendly and it close to vehicular traffic, making is safer for the public to access businesses. It will also have safe, socially distanced seating areas for use by patrons of local eateries to enjoy. The project will also utilize green infrastructure in its design.

Both projects have been sought for years before the pandemic, and both should advance now that they have been approved to receive grant funds.  Eligible applicants were individuals or entities working to rehabilitate vacant, underutilized, blighted, and historic structures and the development of permanent place-based infrastructure associated with traditional downtowns, social-zones, outdoor dining and placed-based public spaces. The RAP program awarded funding to eligible applicants based on one or more competitive application rounds.

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I don't normally post "straight news" without a hint of editorializing but when I do it's to scoop our other local news agencies.  The COLDNews still hasn't published anything regarding these grant awards at their site, the Mason Clown Depressed finally put out an article on these substantial grants this afternoon.  

Ludington's grant will spruce up an alley, and I find it hard to attach even a $500,000 cost on the modest changes envisioned; the people who will benefit greatly from this gift will be the Reed family, Dr. Reimer, and a handful of others that own property on the 100 block of West Ludington Avenue.  Perhaps the state feels they deprived them of their livelihood during the plandemic, but these gifts to fluffy projects are being granted all throughout the state and country as the Federal government goes deeper and deeper in debt and makes their money-printing presses work overtime.  These projects mean nothing if the people are too strapped for cash to pay their rent, food and utility bills.

I was wondering about your article presenting straight news without "editorializing". I also wondered why people do not understand where this money is coming from. This isn't left overs from a balanced budget. It's sludge dripping off the anchor of debt the Feds. have managed to strap on our backs while chocking us with the anchor chain. There is no signs of this changing in the future since both parties have ran up huge debts whenever they had the chance. Our great, great grandchildren will just be scratching the surface of lowering the debt when they are adults and their great, great grandchildren will be bitching about the debt as well. That is if the Earth doesn't burn up as the Lefties predict. A sorry state affairs indeed.

The Ludington DDA and the COLDNews finally figured out the grant was awarded later this afternoon, good for them, someone there must have been reading the Ludington Torch.  This definitely is a very crucial election year, where people need to prevent the cheating we all saw in 2020 while they go out in force to vote for some great candidates who won't disenfranchise your votes in the future.  Deperno, Karamo, and Dixon are not your typical Republicans at the top of the ticket (AG, SOS and guv), they will make a difference if elected, not like the ineffective, incumbent, establishment primary winners in our area (VanderWall, Moolenar, and Bumstead) who won't do anything of any consequence, unless they follow the lead of the new breed of Michigan First Republicans.


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