Community program

Tuscarora Township Joins Reddevelopment Ready Community Program

TUSCARORA TOWNSHIP — Tuscarora Township officials are moving forward with the process of becoming a redevelopment-ready community, a state program designed to benefit current businesses and future investors with financial opportunities.

Township Supervisor Mike Ridley provided information regarding the program ahead of the township council meeting on Tuesday. He said the township plans to engage with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to become a redevelopment-ready community.

“We’ll have to do a number of things,” Ridley said. “Looking at our zoning, looking at some of our best practices, and we’ll try to adapt them.”

The township is currently in the process of updating its ten-year plan with the planning commission. Ridley believes this will be a good time to complete this project and adapt zoning and best practices to meet the MEDC’s list of requirements.

“There are two levels. There’s basics and then there’s certified,” Ridley said. “We are looking at the essentials, in order to engage with MEDC.”

Ridley received training several years ago on how to become more involved and engage with the MEDC, but the township has not explored those options.

“Now I see situations where there are grants available,” Ridley said. “There may be grants so that we can carry out our 10-year plan.”

Becoming a redevelopment-ready community would cost the township nothing, but it will provide a number of incentives to the community. The township will need to go through six different phases, beginning with MEDC engagement, in order to become a redevelopment-ready community.

During this process, township officials will learn how to better communicate and collaborate with the community on projects. The goal is to bring financial opportunities to the community for things like building rehabilitation and historic preservation.

“There are three situations in town right now where someone wants to grow. That’s the kind of thing we’re looking for and we want to make sure we have a grip on things as we move forward,” said said Ridley.

Ridley asked the township council to approve a resolution indicating the township’s willingness to work with MEDC and participate in the program.

The resolution also indicated the township’s willingness to follow MEDC best practices and go through the process to receive certification.

By receiving this certification, current businesses and potential investors in the community could work with the MEDC to receive grants for improvement and beautification projects.

“That’s what the (redevelopment-ready community) is. We engage with them, somebody comes to town, they look at a situation and they want to redevelop, and MEDC steps in and offers them help” , Ridley said. “It has to be based on our best practices, zoning.”

For example, investors or owners who add an addition or renovate a property could be reimbursed for a portion of the expenses through the Reddevelopment Ready Community program.

Additionally, once the community receives this certification, investors like those who recently purchased the Inn Between bar and restaurant will be able to obtain grants to carry out renovations to the structure.

The township council voted unanimously to move forward with the process of obtaining redevelopment-ready community status through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. Township officials have already begun the process of completing the steps to become certified.

For more information on how to become a redevelopment-ready community, visit www.miplace.org/programs/redevelopment-ready-communities.

Contact feature writer Kortny Hahn at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.