ISHPEMING — The City of Ishpeming announced that it has received two separate grants over the span of two days earlier this week.

The first grant, totaling just under $1.9 million for the new Senior Center, came from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, with their board unanimously approving the city’s application. The new Senior Center will be on Division Street, west of the old building that was condemned in October 2019, and will continue to play an important role in the city.

“It’s vital. For us to be able to provide services to our seniors, it’s so important to both of us,” said Ishpeming City Council member Jason Chapman about the Senior Center. “We have a high population of seniors here in Ishpeming, and for them to have a place to gather for meals and activities, and it’s also one of our polling places in the city, so it’s vital to our community here in Ishpeming.”

The second grant, a Michigan Department of Treasury grant for Financially Distressed Cities, Villages, and Townships, was awarded in the amount of $250,000. That grant will be used for the installation of remote water meter readers throughout the city, so they will be able to see real–time usage and be able to catch unusual spikes in usage without having to visit the home. An issue that has caused problems for the city in the past.

“So if there’s spike, that should be caught right away,” said Chapman. “And that should be beneficial to our community members, as well as our city budget.”

Both of these grants will be helping the city with major projects, and Chapman said these grants couldn’t have come at a better time.

“We’re injecting $2.25 million into the City of Ishpeming for some new projects, that’s unheard of for us in the city at these times,” Chapman said. “So it’s huge, it’s such a big deal for us that we’re going to be able to move our community forward.

The city is hopeful that the ground breaking for the new Senior Center will happen this summer, and will begin the final acceptance of the bid proposal and begin implementation and construction as soon as possible. Chapman, says there are a lot of people to thank for making these grants possible.

“Neither one of these grants would’ve have been possible if it weren’t for the support of our state legislators, Sara Cambensy and Ed McBroom both supported both of these grants, and I cannot thank both of them enough for this,” he said. “We are so fortunate to have our new city manager here, Craig Cugini. He has been so instrumental in helping us move forward. And I cannot stay enough about Steve Snowaert, who also work on [both of] these grants and helped us get to where we are now. So I want to thank them for all of the work they’ve done.”