P&R hopes to get $200K grant for complex

March 31, 2016

By Pat Maurer

The Clare City Commission gave its unanimous approval March 21 to apply for a Michigan Department of Natural Resource Trust Fund grant for $200,000 for the planned new recreation complex on the south side of the city.

In his agenda report, City Manager Ken Hibl recommended the city approval. “The City Staff strongly recommends that the City apply for the grant opportunity to augment currently available fund sources (bond, millage, already-received grant funds and in-kind support ($400,000) from the Operator’s Union) to construct and develop the City’s new recreation complex.” He said the City’s Parks and Recreation Advisory Board also recommended approval to submit the grant.

Hibl said the maximum amount of funds for a Trust Fund grant application is $300K, but that Parks and Recreation Director Joy Simmer learned that the “probability of approval of a Trust Fund grant application is increased with an application amount of approximately $200K.”

He said Simmer learned that the Operator’s Union support along with the three grants from Strosacker, Gerstacker and Chemical Bank Foundations (totaling $50,000) would qualify for the local match requirements of the Trust Fund grant application.

Hibl said the total project is estimated at $860,000 and more than half of the costs will be covered by the local match. The rest of the project will be funded by bond proceeds repaid through the previously approved recreation millage, augmented by the MDNR grant if it is approved.
The deadline for the Application is April 1.

Another city improvement project, the Downtown Façade Grant was also on the agenda at the regular meeting.

Hibl said, “The City is a recipient of a Community Development Block Grant to rehabilitate seven downtown building facades. The … grant program requires that all Third Party Administrators must be formally certified by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to allow reimbursement of costs…”

Hibl said because the City does not have any on-staff personnel qualifie3d to administer the grant, the city solicited for TPA services and received one proposal from Mid-Michigan Community Action Agency. Grant funds will pay $15,500 to administer the grant. Any additional cost will be paid by the City. The grant total is $310,000.

The Commission approved a resolution to award the TPA services to MMCAA.
Other business at the City meeting included:

*Reinstatement of the 457(b) and 401(a) Retirement Plans, previously approved in 2005. Social Security stipulated that the plans should be reinstate to comply with federal and state requirements.

*A presentation of The State of the Community with included community improvements and business reports. The report listed the 2010 Census population at 3,118 with a median household income of $28,555.

*Appointment of Michael Craig to the Parks and Recreation Advisory Board.

*Excusing Mayor Pro-tem Jean McConnell from the meeting for illness.

*Approval of the payment of bills totaling $151,074.13.

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