Ironwood, GOCAA awarded $75,000 for neighborhood projects

By ZACHARY MARANO

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LANSING — Governor Gretchen Whitmer awarded more than $1.7 million in Neighborhood Improvement Program grants on Tuesday, including $45,000 to the City of Ironwood and $30,000 to the Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency.

According to the release, these grants will help with necessary home repairs, energy-efficient upgrades and improvements to neighborhood amenities. The press release indicates that these rehabilitation activities can be used to reduce costs for owners.

“Every Michigander deserves a safe, affordable place to call home and a vibrant community they can be proud of,” Whitmer said. “Since taking office, my administration has solved the kitchen table issues that matter most to working families, including building nearly 12,000 affordable and accessible homes, funding home repairs to improve efficiency, help with utility bills, etc. Let’s continue to work together to make it happen. »

Ironwood Community Development Specialist Tim Erickson said the town receives funding annually through NEP grants. The city used the grants for projects in the Douglas neighborhood in 2020-21 and plans to expand that area to include the Curry neighborhood this year.

Erickson said the city heard about this year’s grants in late May and had already awarded bids for three projects using grant funds. He said it was for “owner-occupied exterior rehabilitation projects,” such as the installation of new siding, roofing, aluminum and facia.

“These grants significantly reduce costs that would normally be incurred (by owners) because they provide state funding in addition to any funding they have to put forward,” Erickson said.

Erickson also said that Ironwood had recently received a very successful NEP grant for the completion of its projects in 2021. He said that if the city receives this grant, it will be able to install pickleball courts at Pattison Park on Ayer Street, which has been identified as a priority by the municipal commission.

Community Development Director Tom Bergman said the Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency also uses the same grant for homes in different communities.

According to the release, residents of the communities can expect to see improvements in neighborhoods as early as this summer and fall. Grant-funded projects are expected to be completed by 2023.

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