LANSING (WWJ) — The Michigan Economic Development Corp. announced the Downtown Infrastructure Grant, a new program aimed at helping low and moderate income Michigan communities to improve their downtown infrastructure quality and reduce redevelopment costs for future projects.

“Improving our downtowns will ensure the continued vitality of communities and strengthen our ability to attract and retain young professionals and small businesses,” said MEDC president and CEO Michael A. Finney. “This funding will help create opportunities for new development and economic growth in Michigan’s downtowns.”

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DIG, a Community Development Block Grant program, is designed to provide public infrastructure improvement funding to projects located in a traditional downtown. The maximum grant that will be awarded to a community is $750,000. A total of $4 million in grant funds is available through the DIG program.

Funding priority will be given to infrastructure projects that have design elements that contribute to creating a unique environment for the community.

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The program is intended for Michigan non-entitlement communities — communities that do not receive funding directly from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. Approximately 375 Michigan communities are eligible for funding. For more information on the DIG program, visit http://www.michiganbusiness.org/DIG2013.

Electronic or hard copy submissions are due by Tuesday, Oct. 1 at 5 p.m. Applicants must address all items on the Part I application to be considered for funding.

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There will be a question and answer period regarding the application and questions will be accepted until Sept. 19. The Q&A period begins Sept. 3 and answers will be posted weekly online at http://www.michiganbusiness.org/DIG2013 Questions should be directed to CDBG@michigan.org.