The Town of Fenton could hire a grant writer to help them secure funding from the $700 billion grant fund that will be available in the next one to two years.
During the Tuesday, Nov. 1 meeting of the Fenton Township Board of Trustees, Supervisor Vince Lorraine said he thinks they should consider hiring a grant writer to help them secure funding with numerous ongoing projects.
In the past eight to nine months, the city has raised more than $18 million for various projects, including the Thompson Road Corridor project, bringing municipal water to the city, expanding the Thompson Road bridge, and working on the master plan to include parks and land plans. recreation
Lorraine said she has attended meetings with US Congressman Dan Kildee, US Senator Debbie Stabenow and other lawmakers and politicians about how more than $700 billion in grants will be available over the next 12 to 24 months.
You want to find someone who can help you get that money.
“We’re at a level now where as a municipality there’s not much else we can do unless we hire a grant writer … or go out and find a company,” he said. “There are a lot of opportunities out there.”
Over the past two months, he has interviewed different companies and on Tuesday recommended a company, Paper Crane Funding Solutions, that he thinks will work well with the town.
Lynda Berge, director of prosperity and lead grant writer, said they’ve had conversations with Lorraine about developments happening in the borough, especially the US 23 bridge project, the Thompson Road corridor, municipal water, improving the Thompson Road Regional Dog Park and develop the surrounding 34-acre park and expand broadband infrastructure throughout the borough.
Her approach to financing development is to establish a plan that she called a “working document.” It will involve identifying and researching grant opportunities, developing budgets, and writing grant applications.
She discussed three top tips when it comes to grant writing: Participate to win when applying for grants; understand that the grant application process is long term; and try again if they are denied.
Berge said that is not a guarantee that all applications will be approved and funded. However, they received feedback, reviewed proposals, and applied again, yielding successful results.
His presentation listed funding opportunities at different levels. At the federal level, grant opportunities are available through the American Rescue Plan Act, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, and the Safe Streets and Highways for All Act. Statewide funding opportunities are available through the state budget appropriation, the Michigan Office of Infrastructure, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
The municipality may also explore funding opportunities through corporate donations, foundation grants, and individual donors.
Berge said his company has developed more than $70 million in grant proposals, resulting in more than $50 million in grants. One of his clients is the Genesee Intermediate School District. They have developed more than $17 million in grant proposals and contributed approximately $8.9 million to GISD.
“It would be a privilege for us to work with you to bring resources here to Fenton Township. You have many strengths. Vince and his relationships and being able to nurture those relationships and the projects that he has, the community engagement that he’s already done, working with residents and business owners, that’s really the right approach. That is the sustainable approach,” she said. “There is no guarantee, but there is a lot of money available and they are going to give it to someone. We’d like to help bring him here.”
Lorraine said her plan is to sit down with Berge and Zoning Manager Michael Deem and identify what is needed for each of the aforementioned projects. She mentioned the possibility of putting a walking trail around the dog park and planting fields.
“If there’s $700 billion, I’d like what we can get. I would like to be here,” she said. “There is so much we can do.”
He said he will bring a budget for these projects to the board.