Meridian Township Board works to revitalize downtown Okemos

Revamped position works to revamp downtown Okemos

The Meridian Township Board announced Amber Clark as the new Director of Neighborhoods and Economic Development during its last meeting on Oct. 5. 

Clark proposed the position be restructured to serve neighborhoods, as most of Okemos and Haslett residents live in suburban areas. Keeping neighborhoods in the loop

As Clark moved into the director position, she told the city manager and team about her plans to reinvigorate the role. “Upon taking the position, I told the team I was interested in drawing in the neighborhoods of such a residential-heavy township,” Clark said. “The core areas looking to develop immediately touch the residents in these neighborhoods, and economic development isn’t just about bringing in new businesses.”

If redevelopment funding is secured, the development team plans to complete demolition and asbestos abatement of buildings on the west side of the community by Dec.

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State groups dispute how downtowns spend special millages

By BRIDGET BUSH
LANSING– A dispute between the state groups representing counties and downtowns has erupted over the way tax money is spent. Michigan Association of County officials say some special millage tax dollars that could be spent on senior citizens, veterans and other causes get diverted into a popular tax strategy for helping downtowns. A five-bill package was recently introduced in the House of Representatives to improve the oversight and transparency of groups capturing this tax revenue. Cosponsors are Reps. Lee Chatfield, R-Levering; Lana Theis,R- Brighton; Amanda Price; R-Park Township; Pat Somerville R-New Boston; and David Mature, R- Vicksburg.

In an era of fading downtowns, the numbers prove Grand Ledge’s downtown is growing

By Peter Nuttall
Living In The Ledge Staff Reporter

Over the past few years Grand Ledge has seen a disappearance of shops, specifically in their downtown area. With buildings open for rent, Grand Ledge City Administrator Adam Smith said that they are always open to the idea of new businesses coming in. “The city is always looking for businesses to come into our town looking to make a good positive investment and impact in the community,” he said. Grand Ledge Mayor Kalmin Smith said the building of the Eastwood Towne Center and the Frandor Shopping Center in nearby Lansing hurt some stores and businesses that used to be downtown. “Before the growth of Lansing, Grand Ledge was a separate little city and it had a vibrant downtown providing just about everything,” he said.

Midway Early Learning Center brings new opportunities for Holt's youngest residents

By Catherine Ferland
Holt Journal Staff Reporter

Eighty-five percent of a child’s brain development occurs before they enter kindergarten. Enrollment in early childhood education centers has been proven to increase a child’s chances of graduating high school, finding stable employment and decrease their chances of teen parenthood, crime and a need for welfare. According to a study put out by the Rauch Foundation, only 14 percent of public education funding is spent on early childhood education in the United States. Last year, Holt joined the ranks of the few early childhood learning centers in the U.S. and Michigan when they changed Midway Elementary into Midway Early Learning Center. Holt Public Schools Superintendent David Hornak said, “The beauty behind that is schools typically are closing gaps that are created from birth to five based on whatever circumstances.

Big changes coming to Holt in the future

By Carrie Lynch
Holt Journal staff reporter

Director of Community Development Tracy Miller proposed an idea to extend TIF plans from 2024 to 2036 for the future development of Holt.

The Downtown Development Authority Board of Delhi Township proposed this idea at the board meeting on Tuesday, Sept. 29. in order to get the city of Holt more economically stable as well as a close knit community. Tax Increment Financing, or TIF, is a tool for local governments to help restore a rundown area of a community or help revive the economically sluggish parts a city.  When a city establishes a TIF, excess tax money gets redirected towards the reconstruction of whatever the city is in need of. As a town develops, the tax revenue increases, leaving more money for future development.