The City of Taylor has been awarded a Blight Elimination Program Grant of $100,000 by the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority, targeting the old and abandoned Fletcher Elementary School along Pardee Road, north of Superior.
"We've been working very hard behind the scenes to obtain this grant, which will go a long ways toward covering the cost of the demolition," Mayor Rick Sollars said.
"The demolition of this vacant and dangerous building is a benefit to the entire community," Community Development Manager Jeff Baum said. "It has become an eyesore in the middle of an area of rapid economic growth. Most importantly it makes the neighborhood surrounding the building safer for our residents."
The proposal to demolish the school aligns with the City's master plan, which focuses on placemaking and walkability within the community. It will be the fourth vacant school building to be demolished in recent years in Taylor. After demolition, the City will solicit bids for redevelopment of the site.
In October 2015, the Michigan Land Bank received a $1 million grant from the Michigan State Housing Development Authority to continue efforts to demolish vacant and abandoned structures and promote public safety. County land banks and local units of government with eligible projects across the state were invited to apply for this round of funding in early February. Grant awards for individual projects were capped at $250,000. Statewide, 41 applications were submitted requesting more than $3.4M to fight blight.
"This award will help the continued revitalization of the Taylor community," said State Sen. Hoon-Yung Hopgood (D-Taylor). "Thought those efforts we will able to eliminate community blight and provide a safer and more secure landscape for families and children. I look forward to having this property back into productive use."
“While it is always unfortunate to see buildings and properties fall into disuse, removing these blighted structures will help make Taylor safer, allow further opportunity for economic development, and continually improve our image as the core of the Downriver communities,” said State Rep. Erika Geiss (D-Taylor). “I am pleased to have supported bringing this funding to Taylor.”
The Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) provides financial and technical assistance through public and private partnerships to create and preserve decent, affordable housing for low- and moderate-income residents and to engage in community economic development activities to revitalize urban and rural communities.*
*MSHDA's loans and operating expenses are financed through the sale of tax-exempt and taxable bonds as well as notes to private investors, not from state tax revenues. Proceeds are loaned at below-market interest rates to developers of rental housing, and help fund mortgages and home improvement loans. MSHDA also administers several federal housing programs. For more information, visit www.michigan.gov/mshda.