Howell nabs $1.7M grant for State Street improvements

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The City of Howell’s long-term goal of reconstructing State Street with a festival-street, barrier-free design is becoming a reality with a $1,729,179 grant from the State of Michigan’s Community Development Block Grant.

The grant will fund substantial improvements to Howell’s downtown streetscape and infrastructure in the 100 block of North State Street — where the popular Howell’s Sunday Farmers’ Market takes place — as well as the adjacent alleyways.

This award also builds on the success of downtown Howell winning the 2018 Great American Main Street award.

“As a community, the city strives to create quality spaces that are open to the public and accessible for all members of our community to enjoy,” said Howell Mayor Nick Proctor. “With the proposed enhancements, the State Street Festival Street will now function as the city’s ‘living room,’ as it is home to our farmer’s market, and hosts attractions for Melon Fest, Rock the Block, and numerous other family events throughout the year.”

Proctor added that the improvements will set the standard for event spaces in downtowns throughout the state.

“We look forward to every resident enjoying the improved space in 2020,” Proctor said.

The funding covers:

• Complete reconstruction of State Street with a barrier-free design

• Complete reconstruction of the two alleys between State Street and Michigan Avenue that will improve drainage in the area;

• Repair or replacement of all water, sewer, and storm sewer lines in the area, including the removal of any lead jointed water lines in the project area

• Burial of the majority of electrical service lines in the popular alleyways;

• Enhancements throughout the project, including new landscaping, trash receptacles, and benches

The City is responsible for all design and construction management costs associated with the project, estimated at approximately $320,000. The State of Michigan grant funding support will cover close to 90 percent of the complete project costs. This project follows City Council’s current policy that any construction projects be funded with at least 80 percent from outside sources for the City to be able to proceed with the work.

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