Flint, MI– The City of Flint has been awarded more than $2 million in grants from different sources to cover costs of policing, financial audits, mental health services, and riverfront restoration.
Two of the grants were awarded by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.
The first was for $100,000 for the City of Flint Police Department’s police coverage of events downtown. Money from a previous grant carried over from last year, and has been added to this grant amount for a total of $134,187.
“In recent years, the downtown area has developed into a central attraction for Genesee County residents and City of Flint residents,” reads the resolution prepared by Chief Resilience Officer Lottie Ferguson. “It’s been awakened with new restaurants, shops, opportunities, and has been a place for new artists and local organizations to showcase their talents.
“This past year has been extremely difficult to navigate new mandates and procedures to ensure safety during the COVID-19 pandemic,” the resolution reads. “The City of Flint will use these funds to continue protecting all individuals who come to the downtown area.”
More than half of the funds, $70,079.35, will be used to cover the expenses of the Flint Police Department wages and fringe benefits. There are also funds specified for costs associated with traffic redirection and street closures, in the amount of $51,365.95. Administration costs are $12,741.70.
The second grant from the C.S. Mott Foundation awarded $250,000 to the City of Flint for the completion of the Annual Comprehensive Financial Report (ACFR).
One June 22, 2020, the Flint City Council voted to enter a three-year agreement with Rehmann Robson, an auditing firm, to complete the ACFR. According to the resolution, the purpose of this report is to be “transparent about the use of taxpayers’ money, and to give the public a detailed accounting of all expenditures.”
The projected cost for the upcoming audit and report of the city’s government programs and services is $250,000.
The City of Flint also received a Resiliency in Communities after Stress and Trauma (ReCAST) grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) out of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
This grant is in the amount of $1 million, and is renewable for up to four years, for a total of $5 million, according to the grant resolution document. The document also states that Flint was one of only three cities to receive funding for 2021 through 2026, with this grant.
The ReCAST program in Flint is intended to “assist high-risk youth and families in the City of Flint impacted by the Flint Water Emergency,” and promote resilience and equity.
Those three grants came up during the Flint City Council Grants Committee meeting on Aug. 18. The council voted to send the event policing grant and the ReCAST grant to the next Special Affairs committee meeting on Aug. 23. The council moved the grant for the audit to the next Finance committee meeting on Sept. 1.
A fourth grant was just announced yesterday, although it did not come up on the council’s agenda.
Congressman Dan Kildee announced a $1 million federal grant to Genesee County in partnership with the City of Flint, to restore the Flint River Riverfront.
According to the press release announcing the grant, the money would fund the “installation of multiple rock rapid areas within the main channel to naturalize river flow and allow fish passage upstream, resting pools to provide safe recreational benefits for fisherman and park users and site improvements and furnishings.”
The existing concrete and sheet metal retaining walls will also be modified and naturalized with “vegetation and rock terraces.”
“I am pleased to announce this federal funding to help restore the Flint River Riverfront,” said Congressman Kildee in the release. “Michigan’s waterways, like the Flint River, bring people together to enjoy the outdoors. I will continue working in Congress to ensure that all Michiganders have equal access to the great outdoors, quality infrastructure and clean water.”