3 U.P. Communities Receive Grant Money

The Michigan Department of Treasury has announced that 27 Michigan communities – including three in the Upper Peninsula – will receive Economic Vitality Incentive Program (EVIP) grant funding totaling $4.3 million.

The EVIP program, proposed by the Governor in the budget and

passed by the Legislature, replaced traditional statutory revenue sharing in the current Fiscal Year. It included a $5 million, incentive-based grant program to help offset costs for cities,

villages, townships, and counties interested in service consolidation or sharing, or other cooperative efforts among local units of government.

Among the EVIP Grant recipients announced today, were Calumet Township, which will receive $23,000 to create the North Houghton County Fire District. The City of Gaastra will receive $32,000 to consolidate fire and police services with the neighboring City of Caspian. And, the City of Wakefield will receive $241,500 to consolidate the collection, transportation, and disposal of waste with five other local units.

“This program has and will make a difference in helping partner with local governments on innovative collaborations and best practices, leveraging limited resources,” Snyder said. “These grants will boost or upgrade service delivery for residents of these communities and help provide cost savings. That’s a win-win. I congratulate Calumet Township, Gaastra, and Wakefield for their forward thinking and efforts to benefit their citizens.”

In his State of the State address on Wednesday, January 18, Governor Snyder proposed additional funding for the EVIP grant program, given the significant interest and demand that couldn’t be met in the initial application round and the focus on outcomes and results for citizens and

taxpayer dollars. Specifics will be unveiled during the budget presentation slated for Thursday, February 9.

In all, EVIP grants announced today will help offset costs for 28 projects statewide. In most cases, grants were approved at 50 percent of the amount applied for. Approved projects include a complete merger of two local units of government, six consolidations of police and fire services and four consolidations of dispatch-related services. Grants will also fund eight feasibility studies, four of which involve emergency fire services.