The City of Flint administration is calling a special city council meeting tomorrow, Thursday, October 26 for the purpose of allocating ARPA funds to priority community projects as outlined in the City’s ARPA plan.
The agenda will include new resolutions, as well as resolutions that the council has not acted on at previous meetings. Many of these allocations are the administration’s recommendations for community grant programs.
One proposed allocation for the North Side City of Flint Customer Service Center would be implemented internally by the City of Flint.
The administration is also proposing an additional $1 million for home repair. The City of Flint is finalizing arrangements with service providers and expects applications to open for intake next week.
Berston Field House Renovation and Expansion
The first new resolution proposes a $1 million allocation to Friends of Berston for the renovation and expansion of Berston Field House. This would be allocated from the Contingency line item of the ARPA Allocation Plan adopted by the Flint City Council on October 24, 2022.
The Mott Foundation President Ridgway White announced today at a groundbreaking ceremony for Berston Field House that the foundation will provide matching funds for all donations to the project, turning Flint’s additional allocation of $1 million into $2 million.
“It’s very important to put these dollars to work for the people of Flint,” Flint Mayor Sheldon Neeley said. “We have the opportunity double the impact of ARPA of dollars for the oldest recreational facility in the city of Flint, doubling our investment.”
In November 2022, the City kicked off a capital campaign for Berston Field House with an allocation of $1.5 million in ARPA funds to support the renovation and expansion of the City’s historic community center—a powerhouse of athletic achievement, community engagement for 100 years.
Alternative Uses of Vacant Lots
The City is also proposing $350,000 for alternative uses of vacant lots, as outlined in the City’s ARPA allocation plan. These funds would be granted to six community organizations to implement projects using vacant lots.
A grant of $100,000 to Active Boys in Christ would fund the development a vacant lot at 2701 Branch Rd. into the outdoor space of a youth training center for ages 7-17. The funds would be used to develop a portion of the property into a community garden, outdoor play area, and a full outdoor basketball court.
A grant of $125,000 to Friends of Berston would specifically fund site improvements and the demolition of abandoned buildings on vacant lots to build the new baseball diamond and soccer field as part of its larger project. Berston will expand its site from 6.85 acres to 14.60 acres by purchasing an abandoned church property to the northeast and vacant residential property to the south.
With this additional property, Berston will move the current softball field and outdoor basketball courts, add much needed on-site parking, add a Little League baseball field, a football/soccer/lacrosse field, pickleball courts, playgrounds, a splashpad, and add an outdoor amphitheater venue for summer concerts.
A $25,000 grant to Communities First would add an additional vacant lot to the third and final phase of its Foodie Commons @ the Flowershop. Envisioned as Flint’s first dedicated food truck park, Foodie Commons will offer supports for small businesses, flexible community gathering spaces for events like neighborhood meetings and amenities for all seasons.
Carriage Town Neighborhood Association would use a $25,000 grant to develop a playground at an informal pocket park. While numerous parks are near the neighborhood, none offer play equipment for children and families. During the covid-19 pandemic, residents created this pop-up space to support social gatherings with live music, games, and local vendors.
A $25,000 grant to Hispanic Technology Center would fund a pavilion and picnic table project at a neighborhood pocket park on two vacant lots that were adjacent to the center. This project was identified as a priority through a community engagement process—part of a long-term vision of transforming Lewis Street into Flint’s Latinx District.
Finally, Mott Community College would use a $50,000 grant for the Clark Commons Garden and Park Project. This will include a community garden with fruit trees and a small park with recreational space, seating, art, and an outdoor exercise area.
Gap Financing for Residential and Mixed-Use Projects
The administration also recommends funding Gap Financing contracts in the amount of $1,400,000 from the category of Neighborhood Improvement as proposed in the City’s ARPA Allocation Plan on October 24, 2022.
This includes eight separate allocations for community projects:
$100,000 for MADE Institute to renovate five transitional houses for returning citizens.
$125,000 for Communities First to develop affordable housing at 716 S. Grand Traverse.
$150,000 for Habitat for Humanity’s Sylvan Court Almost Home Project.
$200,000 for YMCA to develop 50 residential units.
$125,000 for McFarlan Village to expand quality and affordable housing at 800 E. Court St.
$125,000 for McFarlan Village to revitalize 700 E. Court St.
$400,000 for Catholic Charities for the Sacred Heart Village tiny home community at 719 E. Moore St.
$175,000 for Hispanic Technology Center’s Early Childhood Center.
Full list of resolutions to be considered: