2011-01-16 / Front Page

Chesaning hosts historic business meeting to boost community

BY JEANNE MARCELLO STAFF REPORTER

CHESANING – The Chesaning Downtown Development Authority (DDA) together with the Village of Chesaning will host a free informational meeting aimed at improving the financial climate for local businesses. The meeting will be held at the Peet Community Center, 142 N. Saginaw St. on Monday, Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m.

Chesaning Village Administrator Lisa Hitchcock worked with DDA leaders Bob Bloom, Chris Wood and Dale Tithof to set up the informational event. Hitchcock explained the meeting is designed to introduce business owners to state and federal programs, “We really want businesses to know what's available.”

The speakers include: Nan Taylor, a field representative for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Community Specialist Kent Kukuk of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation, and Community Development Specialist Jauron Leefers of the Michigan State Housing Development Authority.

Taylor will address the benefits of becoming a historic district and/or historic designation of individual buildings. She will explain the difference betwen National Historic Designation and a Local Historic District, including both federal and state tax credits, Hitchcock explained.

Kukuk will discuss the state's Facade Improvement Grant Program and Signature Building Grant Program.

Leefers will present information about the Michigan State Housing Development Authority's (MSHDA) Downtown Rental Rehabilitation Program, which focuses on rehabilitating the upstairs of downtown buildings into livable units. According to Hitchcock, there is grant funding currently available for spaces currently being used as living spaces, and for areas to be converted into living spaces.

“These presenters will explain their individual programs, as well as how the programs can work together to improve a downtown area both aesthetically and financially,” Hitchcock said, adding, “It's strictly informational at this point.”

This meeting is open to the public and is designed to provide information benefitting businesses, bankers and real estate sales people. “Anyone is welcome, and refreshments will be provided,” Hitchcock commented.

“It gives the possibility of revitalizing the downtown, and improving the economic vitality of Chesaning,” she concluded.

For more information about the historic business meeting, Monday, Jan. 24 at 6:30 p.m. at the Peet Community Center, contact Village Administrator Lisa Hitchcock at the Chesaning Village Office, (989) 845- 3800.

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