WAYLAND, MI-Officials hope a $15,000 grant for consultant fees will help revitalize the city’s Downtown. City leaders last week learned they won a “Blueprint for Michigan Downtowns” grant to pay consultants to identify ways to reinvigorate Downtown business.

The $15,000 grant requires a $15,000 match from the city. The city council voted to commit matching funds from the Downtown Development Authority in July. The grant is administered by Michigan Economic Development Corp., Michigan State Housing Development Authority and Michigan Municipal League.

“We’re all really excited,” city manager Deborah Nier says. “It’s a good positive step for Wayland.”

Under terms of the grant agreement, the city will form a committee to do research for the study. A Downtown Task Committee, made up of members from the DDA, the planning commission, city council and Wayland Area Chamber of Commerce will serve as that committeeand collect data and information about the city of Wayland for HyettPalma. HyettPalma is one of the nation’s top consulting firms that centers its business on developing strategies to revitalize and develop economic growth in deteriorating Downtowns.

Working with information gathered by that committee, and other city officials, HyettPalma will also arrange meetings with the public to find out what they like about Wayland, what is important to them and what they would like to see in the future. HyettPalma will incorporate that data into a five-year action plan that the city will implement, with periodic updates to the Michigan Economic Development Authority.

Doug Nord, city finance director/treasurer, says the city will use the “Blueprint” to organize growth and development, identify businesses to fill empty storefronts and put new energy in the Downtown.

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