FLINT, MI-The state has pledged to immediately assist the city of Flint, which issuffering financially, and the surrounding region.Included in the promised assistance is a $550,000 grant to two redevelopmentprojects in Genesee County.

“Last fall, I issued a challenge to this region: tell me what stategovernment can do to help you jump-start your economy, improve your schools,and strengthen your health care system,” said Gov. Jennifer Granholm. “Whena region shows the initiative to help itself, to reinvent itself, and tore-market itself as a magnet region – a place that wants and welcomes newjobs, new businesses, and new residents – this administration is on board110%.”

She said the state can set aside a $500,000 Core Communities Fund grant tosupport redevelopment of the Buick City site. The grant will supportengineering, design and infrastructure preparations that will jump-start thenation’s largest industrial Brownfield redevelopment project.

The plant was the first acquired and operated by GM, and later earned thename Buick City for Flint. The last Buick left the Flint plant in 1999.At one time, the 340-acre factory site had 15,000 workers. Now, the old,five-million-sf buildings are due to be demolished over a 16-month period.

The state said it may also award Flint $50,000 for the planning of the ThirdAvenue redevelopment area. This will develop a plan using the Flint Riverto link the University of Michigan-Flint, Kettering University, and thedowntown area with residential neighborhoods.

Other funds may go to increase health care, improve schools, create a Centerfor Fuel Cell Systems initiative at Kettering University and helpnon-profits.

Earlier in the year, the state already acted on priorities outlined bycommunity leaders. The City of Flint received an $800,305 loan to purchasevacant, inactive properties along Saginaw Street. The funds will helptransfer ownership to private developers who will convert the buildings intoloft-style apartments with commercial space at the street level.

“I look forward to a partnership with this community to improve the qualityof life for this region’s citizens,” Granholm said.

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