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In June of 2013 the Ann Arbor City Council voted to demolish two buildings at 721 N. Main St. and committed $750,000 for a greenway park. The total cost of the greenway project is $1.2 million. In December 2013 supporters of the Allen Creek Greenway learned that grant funding would not be available from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

Grant funds needed to support the project.

In addition to the money the city set aside, Ann Arbor officials were seeking grants from several organizations to cover costs. These include the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission ($150,000), the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund ($300,000), and the Transportation Alternatives Program through the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments/Michigan Department of Transportation ($600,000).

The city has been able to secure the Washtenaw County parks grant for $150,000, contingent upon successful receipt of the $300,000 state grant. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund’s board of trustees met in December to recommend funding to Michigan Legislature for 76 recreation development projects in 2014. But the city of Ann Arbor’s request for $300,000 was denied.

What are the next steps?

“At this point, the next step for the 721 N. Main project has not been determined,” said Colin Smith, the city’s parks and recreation manager. Ann Arbor resident and president of the Allen Creek Greenway Conservancy, Bob Galardi, expressed his disappointment over the decision. Galardi said his group plans to meet with city and county officials in early February to discuss why the project didn’t score higher and figure out if there’s a way to better communicate the concept in future grant applications.

Written by Brad Abbott