Arbor Update

Ann Arbor Area Community News

Ann Arbor Cool Cities Task Force accepting grant ideas

31. January 2005 • Murph
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The State of Michigan has four Cool Cities-related grant programs accepting proposals this spring, and Ann Arbor has decided to use an open process to gather ideas for proposals and select one to flesh out for submission.

Attention Cool Cities Initiative Participants,

This is the first of our weekly e-mail updates that will be sent out to keep everyone informed on the progress of the Cool Cities Task Force and an overall summary of ideas that have been suggested. As you may already know, the Cool Cities Initiative is a state wide, government sponsored grant program that awards funding to qualifying Michigan Cities. The hope is that the money will be used towards programs and projects that are developed to attract and retain residents between the age of 22-35. Although, any age can benefit from projects that better the quality of life for all the citizens of our great town. Subsequently, the Ann Arbor City Council appointed a task force to help promote the initiative at the local level and provide the resources for the community to prepare quality grant proposals for submission to the state. Attached as a pdf document you will find the updated information on submitting a proposal/idea to the task force for review. Please remember, the deadline for submission is February 25, 2005.

So far we’ve heard the following suggestions:

  • Funding for art in public places: There are many ongoing art projects in different planning stages throughout the community. All are in need of funding and volunteers.
  • Funding for a pedestrian bridge concept: Connecting the North side of the 400 Block of West Huron with the South side. This could help increase the safety and exposure to the new Y building and surrounding public space projects being considered for the area.
  • Funding for the grounds of the new Y Site: The building is almost complete but there is still a lot of work to do on the green space that surrounds this brand new, and impressive, downtown athletic facility.
  • Funding for the various projects for the downtown merchant associations: Main Street, State Street, Kerry Town, South University, all of these associations continue to work diligently on beautify the already incredible downtown area that is one of our main distinctions as a “cool city”.
  • Funding for affordable downtown artist space: Currently there is a great need that isn’t being met.
  • Funding for increased Internet connectivity in the downtown area: A free or cheap wireless network that surrounds the downtown area
  • Funding for various cultural programs: There are numerous groups in need of funding that are involved in bringing everything from poetry to dance to the cultural community at large.

If you have an interest in getting involved with any of the above ideas or would like more information on them, please let us know. These are just a few of the many great ideas that are still out there to purpose. We hope that everybody in the community takes advantage of the great opportunity we’ve been given and submits their idea to the task force by the deadline. If you have any questions or would like further information about the Cool Cities Initiative or the task force, please contact:

Brandt Coultas
Ann Arbor Cool Cities Task Force
425 S. Main Street, Suite 103
Ann Arbor, MI
ph:  734-214-0101
fax: 734-665-4191

The Task Force doesn’t have a website per se; I’ve mirrored the RFP document (pdf) they e-mailed out.