Archive for September, 2014

In a guest commentary Sept. 5 on MLive.com, MAC’s incoming president, Allegan County Commissioner Jon Campbell, issues an alert to Michigan residents about the court funding crisis created by the Cunningham ruling: “Legislators will have a full agenda in September; however, a permanent, stable, fair fix to court funding has to be at the top of the list.” The chart below shows the annual projected impact of the ruling, if it is not changed, for several counties across the state that responded to a MAC survey. court cost chart*Circuit court costs only    
Trunkline conditions chart 9-2-14Why is MAC pushing so hard to get the Legislature to provide a statewide vote on a 1-cent sales tax for transportation? Take a look at the chart above, particularly the dotted portion of the green line. Trunkline roads are transportation speak for main roads. These are the roadways that carry our commerce, our schoolchildren, our work force and our emergency vehicles. If your main roads are bad, expect life to be harder all the way around. And while the vast majority of Michigan’s trunkline roads are deemed in good shape today, the trend is ominous indeed, according to the state Transportation Department. By the end of this decade, fewer than half of such roads would be in good or fair shape, if additional resources are not found. County and local road officials can work as hard as they can and be as clever as possible to stretch a dollar to fix local roads, but that work will mean much less if the major roads aren’t maintained. The MAC Board of Directors, aware of these trends, voted at the beginning of the year to have MAC staffers make the case for a 1-cent increase in the state sales tax – a penny for the roads – to generate vital new dollars. See more about the importance and condition of Michigan roads at http://milocalroads.com/ .
CEDAM logoCEDAM, the Community Economic Development Association of Michigan, has a number of learning opportunities slated in September. Follow the links below to get additional information or register. Small Community Grants Available The application for the latest round of small community grants is available on the Michigan Rural Council page on the CEDAM website. This program offers grants of up to $800 to organizations engaged in rural community development work. Grants are awarded bi-annually each year with deadlines in February and September. The Granting Committee selects up to five proposals to be awarded during each of the two cycles throughout the year. The deadline for the next round of grants is 5 p.m. on Sept. 19. Placemaking Modules Placemaking is a simple concept based on a single principle – people choose to live in places that offer the amenities, resources, social and professional networks, and opportunities to support thriving lifestyles. We are hosting two modules in Detroit on Sept. 24 at the offices of CDAD, our Detroit partner. You may register for one or both. It is not required that the modules are taken in consecutive order. Lunch will be served. Placemaking Module 1: People, Places and Placemaking, 9 a.m. to noon Placemaking Module 2: Economics of Place, 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Register here. Real Estate Development Boot Camp Learn the basics of real estate development with a group of colleagues across the state. The full description and registration information can be found below. When: Oct. 15-17 Where: Tustin Register here.  
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