New grant aims to help smaller communities clean up blight

New grant aims to help smaller communities clean up blight

Run down homes and businesses can be an eyesore and can make it difficult for communities to move forward.

They're also expensive to tear down.

But a new grant could help smaller communities get rid of blight.

Living in Sandusky for 20 years Jeffrey Reckinger's seen his fair share of blight. Right now this abandoned house is next door to Ball Equipment, an ATV dealer where Reckinger works as a mechanic.

“When you're trying to get a nicer neighborhood and you've got something like that it needs to go,” he said.

More than 41,000 people call Sanilac County home. With just four cities Treasurer Trudy Nicol says they're known for agriculture. But they're also dealing with eyesores.

“When you're next to a dilapidated old building it is a deterrent to people coming for new business. They rundown they have inhabitants for the four-legged kind that move in and we'd like to see it demolished,” Nicol said.

That's why she plans to apply for the Michigan Rural Community Demolition Grant. The state's rolling out $350,000 to counties who have less than 50,000 residents. Nicol says it costs between $10,000 - $12,000 clean up a blighted house, and $20,000 for a commercial building in Sanilac County.

“The townships are small these rural communities are really small they don't have the funds to tear down a 20 thousand dollar building so it just sits there we'd like to put it to better use,” she said.

“Hopefully people are starting to look at the smaller people than the larger people. It's the smaller person that needs the help I believe,” Reckinger said.

Each proposal will receive a maximum of $50,000.

But more than one person from a county can apply.

Applications are open until February 15th.

If you want more information click here.