FLINT TWP. — Economic Enhancement Director Tracey Tucker painted a positive picture of the first year for Flint Township’s three new departments during a report to the board, March 4.
In their first year, the Downtown Development Authority and the Beecher Road and Bristol Road Corridor Improvement authorities have taken great strides, with commercial investment in 2018 at $1.62 million in new construction and $20.81 million in additions/alterations to existing businesses.
“This brings it to a total in 2018 of $22.43 million in commercial development in Flint Township,” said Tucker. “That’s an increase in growth of $9.8 million from the prior year.”
The township also saw $2.42 million in new residential investment in 2018, she said.
She said the new economic development authorities work with developers, investors, residents, business owners and other stakeholders. The township guides them from site selection to opening their doors for business.
“We promote our community in a variety of ways. Community events, media, websites, Facebook, memberships, conferences, personal visits, email etcetera,” said Tucker. “We have established incentives – IFTs (Industrial Facilities Tax), Brownfields, Opportunity Zones and Renaissance Zones to attract (businesses) here.”
The Economic Development Department also provides administrative support for the township planning commission, which meets the second Thursday each month. In all, during 2018, the Flint Township Planning Commission approved 15 site plan reviews, four special land use permits, three rezoning recommendations, one temporary land use permits, and it did a master plan update which is still ongoing at this time.
Tucker said the department also assists the township zoning board of appeals, which meets the second Wednesday of the month. In 2018, the ZBA heard seven variance cases – five of which were for land use issues.
The Economic Development Corporation was formed as an interlocal partner with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC). The EDC recommended the creation of the Downtown Development Authority and the and Corridor Improvement Authorities in 2018. It also recommended the creation of Brownfield Redevelopment Authority and recommended the township pursue the MEDC Redevelopment Ready Certification.
“Through these authorities (the township was) able to do several projects,” said Tucker. “They include beautification/blight control projects. Ramp clean-up at Corunna Road, Miller Road, Bristol and I-75 and Bristol and I-69.”
There has also been wildflower plantings, weekly litter pick-up on the I-69 and I-75 entrance and exit ramps and street sweeping, said Tucker.
She said the township is forming an Economic Development Plan and has received a $20,000 grant from the MEDC for the project. CIB planning Inc. has been chosen to craft the plan, Tucker said.
The township has also worked on Marketing and Branding projects which have included Christmas decorations, community events, the Discover Flint Township website at www.discoverflinttownship.com, Facebook and other social media.
“We need to have more things to bring the community together,” said Tucker, regarding the community events the township sponsored in 2018. “There was the Easter Egg Hunt, we had 450 people there, 7,000 eggs and we’re doing again March 30.”
She said the township also took part in the HAP Community Health Fun Fair, National Night Out, the Trunk or Treat/Spooky Trails – which had more than 6,000 people – and partnered with Genesee Valley Center to welcome Santa Claus in December. There were approximately 450-500 people there, she added.