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FUNDING SOURCES FOR RECREATION FACILITIES

FUNDING SOURCES FOR RECREATION FACILITIES
Following is a summary description of the primary sources of funding available to assist with implementation of planned recreation improvements in the City of Ferrysburg. State and Federal funding sources are described first, followed by a description of potential local sources of funding.

It should be pointed out that the funding sources identified in the Action Plan table are based on the assumption that all projects will receive grant funding from State or Federal sources, and that the local match provided by the City will be the minimum required by the applicable grant programs, or 25 percent. These funding source projections are somewhat unrealistic in that it is unlikely that the City will receive the entire grant funding for which it applies. In addition, the City Council will need to consider on a case-by-case basis whether a local match amount in excess of the minimum requirements of the grant program should be provided, in order to improve the ranking of the grant application and the likelihood of a grant award.

LOCAL SOURCES
General Fund Revenues:
Local governments may use general fund revenues for the development, operation and maintenance of park and recreation facilities. Given the many competing needs for general fund millage, however, many Michigan municipalities have obtained voter approval of dedicated millage for general park and recreation facilities and programs, or for specific facility types.
Dedicated Millage
Dedicated property tax millage is an increasingly used means of financing park and recreation improvements. Several communities in Ottawa County have voter-approved levies ranging from .5-1 mill, dedicated to use for park improvements, or specific types of recreation facilities. Many of these millages are restricted specifically for non-motorized trail improvements, as in the case of Holland Township, Port Sheldon Township and Spring Lake Township. This type of financing measure may merit consideration by the City. A levy of .5 mills would annually generate nearly $60,000 in revenue.

Private Donations
Another important source of funds for local recreation projects involves community fund-raising campaigns. Major employers, service clubs and neighborhood groups are potential sources of assistance in projects of this type.

The City of Ferrysburg should also investigate assistance from any of the number of local foundations, including the Grand Haven Area Community Foundation, the Loutit Foundation and the North Bank Communities Fund.

STATE AND FEDERAL SOURCES

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund:
The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) replaced the Michigan Land Trust Fund on October 1, 1985. Starting in 1986, recreation land acquisition and development proposals were eligible for MNRTF funding. Between 15 and 25 percent of the annual fund expenditure will be for recreation facility development, with the balance allocated for land acquisition. The MNRTF Program receives revenue from oil, gas, and other mineral development on State owned lands. A five member board, appointed by the Governor, administers the fund. The MDNR Grants Management Section provides staff support to the MNRTF Board.

MNRTF grant applications are accepted on April 1 and September 1 of each year. Any individual, group, organization, or unit of government may submit a land acquisition proposal; but only units of government, including the state, can take title to and manage the land. Units of government can submit development proposals for local grants and must include a local match of at least 25 percent of the total project costs. Only one proposal per year may be submitted. There is no minimum or maximum for acquisition projects; for development projects the minimum grant amount is $15,000; the maximum is $500,000. Proposals must be for outdoor recreation purposes, especially those that protect natural resources or provide natural resource-based recreation.

Land Resource Program Grants - Coastal Zone Management
The purpose of this program is to protect coastal resources such as wetlands and sand dunes; regulate new development in flood prone and erosion hazard areas; streamline permit decisions; and improve public access, enhance waterfront revitalization and increase public awareness of coastal resources and issues.

The criteria are evaluated in light of general program goals and objectives which are: creation and enhancement of public access to the Great Lakes; redevelopment of deteriorating urban waterfront or port; protection of sensitive natural resources, including sand dunes or wetlands; control of development in erosion or flood hazard areas; and preservation and restoration of historic coastal features.

This program is open to qualified communities including cities. Projects must be located in the coastal boundary, coastal lake or Great Lakes connecting channel.

Land and Water Conservation Fund:
The Land and Water Conservation Fund (LWCF), created by the U.S. Congress in 1965, provides federal funds to buy land and develop facilities for outdoor recreation. However, the U.S. Congress has not appropriated funding for this program for several years. The Grants Management Section of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources administers the Michigan LWCF Program, through the same application and selection process used for the CMI-Recreation Bond Program and the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund program.

Clean Michigan Initiative (CMI) Recreation Bond (Currently Inactive)
The CMI-Recreation Bond program was created by approval of Proposal C by Michigan's voters in the November, 1998 general election. This ballot proposal authorized the issuance of $675 million in bonds, $50 million of which is to be used to assist local governments in the development and renovation of public recreation facilities and infrastructure. Procedures for implementation of the grant program were established in Public Act 286 of 1998. For the initial year of this program (1999), $10-$12 million will be allocated for grants to local governments.

The goal of the CMI-Recreation Bond grant program is to fund local projects that fall within one or more of the following three program areas:

1. Public recreation infrastructure improvements that involve the replacement of or structural improvements to existing public recreation facilities.
2. Construction of new community recreation facilities.
3. Development of recreation facilities that will attract tourists or increase tourism.

The CMI-Recreation Bond program is administered through the same semi-annual application submittal and review process used for administration of the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, described below. Minimum grant amount for any facility development project is $15,000, with a maximum grant amount of $750,000. Like the MNRTF grant program, there is a minimum local government match of 25% of project costs required.