From the Desk of the Main Street Program Director
Teamwork with reactivation of Brownfield Authority generates grant funding
by Rae Gosling, Grayling Main Street Program Director
As you may recall from last week, we have an upcoming event that Grayling Main Street (GMSt) is proud to be hosting in partnership with the City of Grayling and Project Rising Tide (PRT) Steering Committee. The second installment of “Developer Day” in Grayling will focus on properties in and near Downtown Grayling. The first session of “Developer Day” resulted in interested parties contacting local officials and housing professionals with further inquiries.
Collaborative projects, like those mentioned above, are a driving force in the growth and development of our community’s economy.
Beyond working collaboratively on projects, we can leverage the existence of our economic development programs in other ways. Most notably is the advantage created by having several active economic development and community growth programs. This is evident in the incredible influx of grant money and technical services Grayling has seen over the last several years.
Many of our technical services have been discussed previously, although maybe not with this particular lens. We were able to leverage more value from our technical service awards than most communities by asking several organizations to participate in the services and emphasizing the potential benefit to the funders and providers. Sharing the resources extended to one program is just one way to build programming and relationships.
More impressive though is the outstanding amount of grant dollars that have been awarded to programs and projects in the Grayling area. Our participation in and good relationship standings with multiple programs has afforded Grayling bonus points on grant applications. The community’s active Main Street, Redevelopment Ready Communities (RRC), and PRT committees are just some of the ways we are leveraging collaborative energy to our benefit. This coupled with letters of support, and examples of combined efforts with programs like Grayling Promotional Association, the Grayling Regional Chamber of Commerce, and other non-profit groups, shows grantors that we are committed to completing tasks for the greater good of the community, thus making applicants from Grayling more desirable recipients.
Recently, the efforts of GMSt Board members, City of Grayling staff, and Grayling Agriculture and Education Center team members prompted the re-activation of the Crawford County Brownfield Authority. Because of the teamwork from these various organizations, and the dedication of the Brownfield Board members, Grayling has already been approved for one substantial grant and loan award from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ), and has another grant and loan award pending.
Prior to that approval, the City of Grayling was awarded a substantial Infrastructure Capacity Enhancement (ICE) grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). That grant application was afforded, as previously mentioned, higher priority and scoring based on the inclusion that our community is engaged with RRC, participates as a PRT Community, and has an active Main Street program. These are all programs supported by MEDC, and show that we are relentless in our efforts to care for and improve our community. While we cannot say with certainty that those inclusions were the deciding factors, we can say, without a doubt, that they enhanced our viability as an applicant that was worthy of the award.
These are only a few examples of ways collaborative projects and inclusive applications have benefitted Grayling. There are countless grants, loans, and awards that have been provided around our community over the last several years that are related to teamwork and cohesive community efforts. If you, or your organization, are considering applying for a grant or loan, please feel free to reach out and let us know how we can contribute to your application, and make you look like a stronger candidate for the award.
Want to know more about GMSt and what is going on in Downtown Grayling? Check back in future editions of the Avalanche for more From the Main Street Program Director’s Desk. You can also check out their website, www.DowntownGrayling.com, find them on Facebook, or email questions to DowntownGrayling@gmail.com.
Rae Gosling is the Program Director for Grayling Main Street. She has been with GMSt since April 2016. She is a Grayling resident, wife, mother, local shopper, avid supporter of all things Grayling, and keeps everyone on their toes wondering what color her hair will be next.