Serving Gogebic, Iron and Ontonagon Counties

Ironwood, GOCAA awarded $75,000 for neighborhood projects


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LANSING — Governor Gretchen Whitmer awarded more than $1.7 million in Neighborhood Enhancement Program grants on Tuesday, including $45,000 to the city of Ironwood and $30,000 to the Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency.

According to the release, these grants will help make necessary home repairs, energy efficient upgrades and neighborhood amenity improvements. The release says these rehabilitation activities can be used to lower costs for homeowners.

“Every Michigander deserves a safe, affordable place to call home and a vibrant community that they can be proud of,” said Whitmer. “Since I took office, my administration has delivered on the kitchen-table issues that matter most to working families, including building nearly 12,000 affordable, attainable housing units, funding home repairs to improve efficiency, helping with utility bills, and more. Let’s keep working together to get it done.”

Ironwood Community Development Specialist Tim Erickson said that the city receives funding through NEP grants every year. The city used the grants for projects in the Douglas neighborhood in 2020-2021 and plans to expand this area to include the Curry neighborhood this year.

Erickson said that the city heard about this year’s grants in late May and has already awarded bids for three projects using the grant monies. He said they are “homeowner-occupied exterior rehabilitation projects,” such as installing new siding, roofing, aluminum and facia.

“These grants significantly reduce the cost that would be normally be incurred (by the homeowners), because it’s providing state funding on top of whatever funding they have to put forward,” Erickson said.

Erickson also said that Ironwood was recently awarded a NEP high performer grant for completing their projects in 2021. He said that if the city receives this grant, they will be able to install pickleball courts in Pattison Park on Ayer Street, which was identified as a priority by the city commission.

Director of Community Development Tom Bergman said that the Gogebic-Ontonagon Community Action Agency uses the same grant on homes in different communities as well.

According to the release, residents of the communities can expect to see neighborhood improvements as early as this summer and fall. Projects funded by the grants should be complete by 2023.