Since coming to Lansing 12 months ago, I have made it my mission to advocate on behalf of the incredible people and organizations that help our community thrive. Earlier today, I had the honor of joining local leaders in advocating to the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) on behalf of two local projects set to take place in Washtenaw County. As a result of our efforts and the high merits of each project, I am pleased to report that the MSF has approved funding for both initiatives.
The Michigan Strategic Fund, in cooperation with the Michigan Economic Development Corp., awards, assists with, or approves various funding mechanisms for the purpose of creating jobs and spurring economic growth in Michigan. Funding streams include grants, low interest loans, bond sales, tax abatements and the like.
Today, the MSF approved a $5.5 million bond sale for Huron Valley PACE in Ypsilanti. PACE, which is an acronym for Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly, is an organization that serves adults ages 55 and up that have ongoing health care needs. The organization provides services at its Ypsilanti “Day Health Center” in addition to conducting in-home care visits, and will use funds generated to expand its facility to serve an additional 180 patients. This project is expected to create 25 short-term construction jobs and 44 long-term health care positions.
The second award was approved for the Thompson Block project, which aims to restore a historic, Civil War-era structure in downtown Ypsilanti as a mixed-use commercial and residential building. With the approval of a low interest loan and funding from the Washtenaw County OCED Brownfield Authority totaling more than $4.4 million, the Thompson Block redevelopment project is poised to turn a long-vacant symbol of blight and decay into Ypsilanti’s next shining jewel. The project is expected to create 70 full-time jobs and will produce numerous short-term construction jobs throughout its duration.
Huron Valley PACE is an invaluable asset to the Ypsilanti community. At a time when access to health care is seemingly in flux, this expansion will go a long way toward helping ensure our community is healthy and cared for. What’s more, the Thompson Block project will combat blight in our downtown district by rehabilitating one of Ypsilanti’s most historic buildings to create additional housing and economic opportunities in our city.
It was an honor to speak in support of these projects today. While the intricacies of finance and the tedium of bureaucracy can at times be daunting, I want to commend the team that worked so hard on these worthy projects, and thank them for having faith in Ypsilanti. This funding could not be more deserved.
As always, please contact my office if you have any questions or concerns about an issue in state government. You can call me and my staff at (517) 373-1771 or email us at RonniePeterson@house.mi.gov.
State Rep. Ronnie Peterson