Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Cool Cities soliciting grant proposals

11. January 2005 • Murph
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The Ann Arbor Cool Cities Task Force hopes to participate in the next round of State grants, and is soliciting suggestions for grant proposals. There will be a meeting 25 January at the Ann Arbor District Library to discuss the grant requirements.

The 2005 Cool Cities initiative is now underway. There will be four separate programs giving grants of up to $300,000 to as many as 30 communities:

  • Twelve “Neighborhoods In Progress” communities will get $100,000 to create a mixed-use neighborhood that will successfully retain population;
  • Four “Michigan Main Street” communities will get $150,000 in technical assistance for grassroots action to revitalize their downtowns;
  • Ten “Blueprints” communities will get matching grants to work with HyettPalma on a public participation plan for downtown revitalization; and
  • Four “Neighborhoods of Choice” communities will get up to $300,000 in Community Development Block Grant support to craft a vision and strategy for revitalizing a core neighborhood.

Each program has different eligibility requirement, and it seems that Ann Arbor most likely will qualify for the first program, which was modeled after the original Cool Cities grants.  All of the programs are focused on downtowns or downtown neighborhoods.

The Cool Cities task force will be soliciting brief proposals from community members to help generate the best grant application our community can put together.  At this meeting on the 25th we will outline the parameters for those synopses; full descriptions of the state programs themselves will be available later this week and we will have copies of them at the meeting.  Synopses will be due to the task force in February, after which we will conduct a public review process with those people who have expressed interest in the Cool Cities program (like you) to choose the project that will be advanced. 

I encourage you to continue to work through this process with us.  Join us for the next steps!

When:  Tuesday, January 25 from 6:00 – 8:30 p.m.
Where:  Ann Arbor District Library (343 S. Fifth – Ann Arbor)
aadlfreespace (3rd Floor)   
http://www.aadl.org/

It would be very helpful if you would RSVP if you plan on coming (conansmith@comcast.net) . . .

Thanks, I hope you’ll be there on Tuesday . . .

Conan Smith
Ann Arbor Cool Cities Task Force Chair

I encourage everyone to consider submitting their ideas. Regardless of whether you agree with the Cool Cities Initiative, the State is handing out money, and the City of Ann Arbor will probably be applying for it (or co-sponsoring an application by another city in Washtenaw, as A2 did for Ypsilanti in the first round). Given that proposals will be submitted and money handed out, you might as well submit your ideas to make sure the money is used as well as is possible.



  1. Amazing! I can’t believe there still is a Cool Cities Task Force here in Ann Arbor. Who would have known, considering the task force’s extremely poor performance in 2004 under the leadership of Conan Smith. My bet is that 2005 will be no different. Conan, and his mother, Rep. Alma “the Wheeler-Dealer” Smith, have been known to make vague public promises, threats, etc. Nice try, Conan, but your latest attempt to fool the electorate into believing that you actually want to serve them, and not the abortion industry, isn’t fooling me.
       —Andrew Shirvell    Jan. 12 '05 - 03:26PM    #
  2. “Abortion industry”?

    Ann Arbor’s Cool Cities Task Force helped Ypsi get a grant this past year – not the most tragic failure I’ve ever seen.
       —Murph    Jan. 12 '05 - 09:06PM    #
  3. If the abortion industry means jobs, I’m all for it. I’m tired of shipping our abortions to Mexico or (gasp) India!

    I wonder if making Lowertown a functional dowtown would be in the cards. It sure would be nice…
    Maybe I can work the words Cool Cities and Homeland Security into my proposal and double-dip.
       —js    Jan. 13 '05 - 12:11AM    #