Sen. Emmons applauds Lyons for earning downtown improvement grant

Sen. Judy Emmons on Tuesday congratulated the village of Lyons for earning a state Downtown Infrastructure Grant to enhance its downtown area.

“This competitive grant will strengthen the ability of Lyons to attract job providers, support their current small businesses and make the entire community better for families,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “I applaud the local officials and the Michigan Strategic Fund board for working together to make this investment in downtown Lyons.”

The Michigan Economic Development Corporation and Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) have approved a $607,400 Downtown Infrastructure Grant (DIG) for Lyons to make street and parking improvements. The village of Lyons will contribute $170,600 toward the project.

Lyons plans to use the funding for reconstruction of Main Street through the downtown area, water main improvements, paving the current gravel parking lot, reconfiguring on-street parking and traffic-easing measures, sidewalk improvements, trees, benches and trash receptacles.

“Improving our downtowns is about helping restore the heart of our communities,” Emmons said “Young professionals and job creators look at the health of a community’s downtown when deciding where to locate their businesses and raise their families. This means a thriving downtown is vital to a community’s economy and the quality of life for its residents.”

DIG, a Community Development Block Grant program, is designed to assist low- and moderate-income communities by providing public infrastructure improvement funding to projects located in their traditional downtown district.

The grant was part of nearly $4.5 million in DIG program funds approved by the MSF for nine Michigan communities that will provide nearly $3.4 million in matching funds. All of the projects are located in traditional downtowns, will be completed within one year and will incorporate innovative design elements.