In the current economic climate, funding for projects is not as easy to come by as it used to be.  Many potential projects, and even approved projects, are sitting on the shelves simply because individuals, organizations, or municipalities don’t have the money to get the projects designed, permitted, or constructed.  This is where grants can help.  Many people are familiar with grants to pay for college or to help start or expand a small business.  What many people don’t realize, however, is that there are countless grants available to help fund an assortment of projects.

One of the most popular grant programs at present is the Stormwater, Asset Management and Wastewater (SAW) grant offered through the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ).  This grant is designed to provide funding for the following: development of plans to identify and manage stormwater or wastewater assets; stormwater treatment management plans; planning and design of sewage, stormwater, or nonpoint source pollution reduction projects; and the testing and demonstration of innovative water quality improvement projects.  The MDEQ also offers low-interest loans for construction activities identified in an approved stormwater management plan that are designed to protect water quality.  Any city, village, township, county, authority, or other public body that has jurisdiction over construction and operation of sewage treatment facilities is eligible to apply for a SAW grant, and grants and loans are awarded by the MDEQ on a first-come first-served basis until the $450 million allotted to the program is expended.  The MDEQ also offers other grants and loans focused on brownfields, coastal management, stream monitoring and clean-up, and pollution prevention.

In addition to the grants offered by the MDEQ, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) offers a variety of grants aimed at parks and recreation projects, including recreation acquisition and development, boating, dam management, fisheries, forestry, invasive species, recreational vehicle safety and law enforcement, trails management, and wildlife habitat management.  Many other state agencies, including the Department of Agriculture, Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA), and Department of Transportation (MDOT), just to name a few, also offer grants and loans for a myriad of research, design, and construction projects.  And these are just the grants available through state agencies!  Many more grants and loans are available through federal agencies, private and corporate foundations, and not-for-profit organizations.

So, how can MCA help?  We have the resources to assist you with every step of the grant process, from writing the grant proposal, to preparing plans, specifications, and design documents for the proposed project, to bid support and construction administration.  If you have a project that you think might be grant fundable, or you have already secured a grant and need planning, engineering, or design assistance for your project, or you just need help getting your approved project to construction, give us a call!

Candice M. Briere, AICP
Land Planner
Metro Consulting Associates