Chesterfield Township officials Tuesday night approved a plan to distribute more than $90,000 in federal grant funding to senior center improvements, as well as several local nonprofit groups.
The township is expecting to get $92,000 from the Community Development Block Grant program, which is administered by the Michigan Strategic Fund. The program uses money from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to give grants for housing projects and economic and community development.
Nearly $80,000 in grant funding will benefit those who use the township’s senior center. The township board allocated about $76,000 to replace the senior center parking lot, as well as $3,500 for senior programming at the center.
“Over the past several years Community Development Block Grant funds have helped support the Chesterfield Senior Center through the purchase of supplies, equipment, office items, the development of new programming and maintaining the Chesterfield Senior Center building,” senior center coordinator Carol Rose wrote in a CDBG funding request to board members.
Chesterfield Township Supervisor Mike Lovelock said prior to Tuesday’s meeting that he divvied up the remaining funding among 14 local nonprofit groups in an effort to help as many people as possible.
“Some years we only give to five or six organizations, but this year with hard times for everybody, I thought it would be good to give all these groups a little bit,” Lovelock said.
Lovelock allocated $1,050 to Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan, an organization that he said should be supported for the work they do to help kids and young adults with cancer and other illnesses.
Wigs 4 Kids founder and CEO Maggie Varney thanked board members during the meeting for their support while she explained the group’s purpose.
“Wigs 4 Kids is a local grassroots nonprofit organization, and what we do is provide wigs and support services for children with hair loss,” she said.
The board allocated CDBG funding to the following organizations: A Beautiful Me, CARE of Southeastern Michigan, Care House, Community Housing Network Inc., Family Youth Interventions, Hope Center in Macomb, Macomb County Warming Center, Macomb County Rotating Emergency Shelter Team, Macomb Literacy Partners, Skyline Camp, Solid Ground, Turning Point, Wigs 4 Kids of Michigan and Macomb Homeless Coalition.
Treasurer Linda Hartman said before the meeting that she agreed with the plan to spread the funding among more groups this year.
“I think that’s probably a good way right now,” she said. “Everybody really needs something, even if it’s a little.”
Township officials did not know when the 2012 CDBG funding would be available for use.
Township Plans to Repair Senior Walking Path
During Tuesday night’s meeting, board members also voted to reprogram about $78,000 in unused, existing CDBG funds from three previously approved projects to the senior path repair project.
The senior walking path that loops around the municipal building was completed in February 2009 using CDBG funding. Poor drainage in certain areas of the path has caused the asphalt to move and crack, which can be dangerous to those who use it.
About $19,000 remains unused from the 2007 grant that funded the initial path project. An additional $53,000 of unused CDBG funding from constructing the path’s bridge will be reprogrammed, as well as about $6,000 of additional unused grant funds, according to a letter to board members written by Rose, coordinator at the senior center.
Most of the damage is located on the north side of the path, Lovelock said.
Clerk Jan Uglis said a starting date for the path repair project has yet to be determined.