"We want to encourage every community to work regionally to solve problems and strengthen their areas."
Governor Jennifer M. Granholm today announced a new round of grants for Centers for Regional Excellence (CRE), a program that encourages local governments to work collaboratively to make their communities better places to live, work and play while streamlining government and saving taxpayer dollars. The grant application deadline is September 3 with the announcement of grant recipients in late October.
"Across the state, we have seen examples of cities, villages and townships working together in creative ways to use taxpayer dollars more effectively and efficiently," Granholm said. "We want to encourage every community to work regionally to solve problems and strengthen their areas."
Under the grant program announced today, the CRE will provide eight grants of up to $25,000 over two years. Initial funding will be provided through existing community development funds from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA).
"The CRE program is an exceptionally good fit with MSHDA's priorities," said MSHDA Interim Executive Director Keith Molin. "People working together are the key to building strong vibrant cities and neighborhoods."
Granholm pointed to past CRE projects as examples of how communities are collaborating to maximize their resources on a host of programs from fiber optic systems and transit and tourism, to urban service boundaries and public safety. The governor noted that proposals focusing on regional economic development which include a greater variety and number of governmental organizations and community stakeholders will be given priority.
Proposals will be reviewed by a committee of representatives from state government, Michigan universities, Michigan Association of Planning, and city and township organizations. Applicants must include a statement of support for the specific collaborative project from each participating governmental unit (including school district, if applicable) along with statements of support from local community partners. Proposals must also include information regarding how award funds will be supported by local matching investments and a description of how progress will be measured.