Newsmaker: $18M in ARPA money allocated | Local News


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Editor’s note: Newsmakers profile people, places and events that made news in the Grand Traverse region during the past year.

Newsmakers and the Record-Eagle’s top stories from the year 2022:

TRAVERSE CITY — At its last meeting of the year, the Grand Traverse County made the final decisions on what local proposals would get a share of $18 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding.

In all, 27 proposals totaling about $10 million were awarded funding, while $5 million has been allocated to mental health infrastructure and $3 million has been held back for county use.

During the past year or so, a committee made up of community leaders and county administrators set their own guidelines for the proposals, as well as following federal guidelines that said the money must be used to mitigate losses from the COVID-19 pandemic.

The guidelines also followed the results of a survey asking citizens who live, work or own a business in the county what they would like to see the money spent on. They then sought proposals for projects by county organizations — from townships seeking help with replacing sewer and water mains, to nonprofit programs that would help children and teens with mental and behavioral health issues that manifested during and following the pandemic.

The money set aside for mental health infrastructure could go to a mental wellness/diversion center that is in the planning stages. A group requested $5 million, but commissioners felt the project was not far enough along to fund.

Lack of childcare services in the county has been a top issue for many years, although only a couple of proposals sought to alleviate the problem. One, a $235,000 project to upgrade space at Pine Grove Church for use as a childcare center, was approved.

Another, a $2 million request from the Northern Early Childhood Support Network for an early childhood center and educator training to increase childcare capacity and quality, was withdrawn as the network did not think it could meet a federal deadline to have the money obligated by the end of 2024 and spent by the end of 2026.

The committee scored and ranked all of the proposals, placing them in three tiers and making recommendations from those that made it to the top tier. County commissioners had the final say and could follow recommendations or make their own list.

They did, choosing a variety of projects from all three tiers.

Here are the allocations that were approved. Note that the numbers designate the project proposal, under which more details can be found on the GTC website’s ARPA page.

Tier 1

  • 31 East Bay Township, replacement of sanitary sewer main and pump station, $2.225 million requested, partially funded at $2 million.
  • 50 Goodwill Northern Michigan Station Street Housing, 30 units for the chronically homeless, $400,000.
  • 59 Grand Traverse Pavilions, air purification and pathogen reduction system for skilled nursing facility, $256,515.
  • 70 Michael’s Place, comprehensive grief services for children, schools and families, $325,000.
  • 74 Northwest Michigan Health Services, child and adolescent health center at TC West Middle School to provide medical services and mental health counseling to students, $150,000.
  • 95 Traverse Bay Children’s Advocacy Center, child abuse trauma therapy services, $978,479.
  • 96 Traverse Area Public Schools, peer-to-peer programming for youth mental health, $22,000 requested, partially funded at $10,000.
  • 100 Wallick Communities, workforce housing for those who do not qualify for low-income housing, can’t afford to buy a home and struggle with rent, $3 million requested, partially funded at $1.5 million.

Tier 2

  • 9 Blair Township, water supply and treatment upgrades to promote future development, requested $4.6 million, partially funded at $225,000.
  • 12 Garfield Township, collaboration between Garfield and Long Lake townships to improve water system and eliminate well system, $400,000.
  • 57 Grand Traverse Industries, employment and training for those with significant developmental disabilities and mental illness, $300,000.
  • 67 Kingsley United Methodist Church feeding programs, serve several hundred people per month via a family food pantry, free student lunches and community dinners, $10,000.
  • 69 Legacy Aviation Center, create facility to train in the high-demand field of aircraft mechanics, $500,000.
  • 71 National Alliance on Mental Illness Grand Traverse chapter, additional staff to provide no cost mental health programs and support groups to community, requested $700,000, partially funded at $512,500.
  • 82 Pine Grove Church, upgrades for use of space as a childcare center and provide competitive wages for workers without increasing costs for families, $235,000.
  • 99 Village of Kingsley, lead service line replacement to comply with state mandate, requested $1.5 million, partially funded at $937,500.
  • 105 Mt. Holiday, address stormwater runoff and water quality to allow installation of snowmaking system, $604,700.

Tier 3

  • 3 Acme Christian Pantry, increased for food and emergency needs for local families, $20,000.
  • 14 Garfield Township, sanitary sewer service to promote future development, $285,000.
  • 30 East Bay Township, EMS Echo unit to render aid in emergency situations, $35,000.
  • 49 Fife Lake Township, roof replacement of public safety building, $75,000.
  • 58 Grand Traverse Metro Emergency Services Authority, equipment to prevent contamination from hazardous materials, $41,800.
  • 64 Green Lake Township, pickleball courts at Memorial Park, $75,000.
  • 85 Slabtown Neighborhood Association, signs for reference points and community news, $3,000.
  • 101 Whitewater Township, Lossie Natural Trail wetlands mitigation and improvement, $95,917.

Late entries

  • 106 Generations Ahead, expand services for hard-to-reach teen parents and increase access to mental health counseling, $108,700.
  • LA3 Grant Township, repairs to Zue Road, $150,000.

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