Northern Michigan Governments Receive USDA Grants
Three area communities will receive significant infrastructure grants through the Community Facilities funding program from the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Rural Development provides loans and grants intended to help expand economic opportunities, create jobs, and improve the quality of life in rural areas. These funds are available to municipalities, public bodies, nonprofit organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribes for projects in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. They can be used to purchase, construct, and/or improve essential community facilities, purchase equipment, and pay related project expenses. The total investment in Michigan is $240,000.00.
“These infrastructure investments will benefit Northern Michigan communities in a variety of ways,” said Brandon Fewins, Rural Development State Director for Michigan, in a press release. “This showcases how USDA is helping provide improved fire protection, strengthening public safety, and preserving our historical heritage.”
Distribution of Funds
The Evart Area Joint Fire Department, in Osceola County, will use a $100,000.00 grant to purchase upgraded equipment for firefighter protection. This includes bunker coats, bunker pants, helmets, gloves, Nomex hoods, and firefighting boots as well as modern extraction equipment.
East Jordan, in Charlevoix County, will use a $30,000.00 grant to purchase a patrol vehicle and related emergency lighting, prisoner containment system, and an onboard computer. The patrol vehicle will replace an older one that is having maintenance and reliability issues.
The City of Reed City, in Osceola County, will use a $3,000.00 grant to purchase body cameras for their police department. The police department has only three working body cameras for five officers. The body cameras will help provide transparency and accountability for local law enforcement.
Osceola County will use a $35,000.00 grant to purchase a law enforcement vehicle. The vehicle will replace an older one with high mileage.
The Charlevoix Historical Society, in Charlevoix County, will use a $7,000.00 grant to install air conditioning at the museum, which is housed in the historical Harsha House. The air conditioning is part of the renovations of the second floor of the facility to create an office, storage, and curator workspace.
The City of Tawas City, in Iosco County, will use a $27,900.00 grant to purchase a new police vehicle. This will replace an older vehicle that is no longer mechanically reliable.
Gaylord, in Otsego County, will use a $42,000.00 grant to purchase a patrol vehicle. The vehicle will replace an older, high mileage one with reliability and costly maintenance. The grant will cover the purchase of the vehicle and related safety equipment.