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In this issue: Master Plan Implementation; Grand Traverse Greenway Trail PlacePlans Project; ImagineFlint.com Updates; Michigan Green Communities Conference

Revamped Newsletter!

A new and improved Imagine Flint newsletter has hit the shelves. Beginning today, a monthly newsletter will be distributed on the First Monday of each month. Content will range from master plan implementation, demonstration project news and highlights, community event coverage, and any/all things master plan. As we transition into a new phase of the master planning process, Planning Staff welcomes any and all feedback. Thanks for listening and staying informed. 

A New Vision for Greenways in Flint

On March 18th & 19th, we will be hosting a 2-day, community based design workshop for the proposed Grand Traverse Greenway Trail. Identified as a priority in the newly adopted Master Plan, the Grand Traverse Greenway will improve access to alternative transit options as well as connect the S. Saginaw corridor to key development in the surrounding area. Come out to Word of Life Church on March 18th  5-7 pm and March 19th  from 11-1 pm, and together we can craft a vision for the Grand Traverse Greenway Trail!

ImagineFlint.com Updates

As the planning process shirts towards implementation, the Imagine Flint site is transforming as well. Track the progress of the multiple on-going demonstration projects while viewing revised and updated maps and the status of the Implementation Task Groups. Planning staff will be updating the site over the coming weeks to provide fresh, new content on the planning process.

Flint named a Strong City, Strong Community

The City of Flint was recently designated as a distinguished Strong City, Strong Community. The federal initiative chose seven cities nationwide through a selective and highly competitive process. The SC2 program will embed Federal staff into City Hall to focus on three priority areas: Public Safety, Economic Development, and Neighborhood Stabilization. “SC2 will bring additional capacity to the implementation of the new Master Plan for a Sustainable Flint and to the innovative work being done here to improve economic opportunity, neighborhood safety and quality of life for all of Flint’s residents, businesses and students. Flint is transforming into a diverse 21st Century city and SC2 engagement will speed our progress." said Mayor Dayne Walling.

City Staff will begin work in Flint sometime in April 2014, and be stationed in City Hall for at least 12-months.

Imagine Flint.

Moving Forward

February 4th Steering Committee Meeting
    Steering Committee members gathered to review their newly revised roles and responsibilities. The Steering Committee will be responsible for continuing to ensure broad community input into the planning process, while also providing recommendations to the Planning Commission on zoning issues, the capital Improvement plan, and sub-area plans.
    A key role of the Steering Committee moving forward will be the recruitment and participation with the Implementation Task Groups. These groups will be charged with channeling neighborhood and institutional resources towards the implementation of the Imagine Flint master plan. Their role will be to parlay vision into action, by implementing the strategies and objectives of the master plan. Task Group responsibilities and applications can be found here.

Mayor's State of the City Address
    On March 3rd, Mayor Walling gave his annual State of the City Address. In it, Mayor Walling called on residents and stakeholders to take part in blight elimination efforts and support the implementation of the Imagine Flint Master Plan. In the spirit of that call, here are just a few ways that you can help implement the Master Plan:
   
    - Adopt a city park through Keep Genesee County Beautiful - (810)767-9696
    - Take care of a vacant property next to your house or on your block.
    - Help make your neighborhood safer by joining a neighborhood watch, Flint Neighborhoods United or the City of Flint Blue Badge Corps; report criminal activity to the police.

Ultimately, the success of the master plan will be dependent on citizens and partners assisting with implementation. The master plan is a true community vision with the needs of active community members to move Flint Forward.

For questions regarding the master plan and how to connect, please contact:
Vincent Slocum 
766-7426 ext. 3029
vslocum@cityofflint.com

Community Block Grants Public Needs Hearing

On February 27th, the Department of Planning & Development hosted a public hearing on upcoming CDBG (Community Development Block Grants), HOME, and ESG (Emergency Solutions Grants) funding allocation. Economic development, housing programs, and blight removal were the top 3 areas of comment from the nearly twenty residents who spoke. The Department of Community & Economic Development is expecting a slight decrease in 2014-2015 funding that results in $3,567,784.00 (down 3%) of CDBG funding. An RFP for funding can be found here, while the 2014-2015 funding timeline can be found here.

The HUD funding must align with the annual Consolidated Plan developed by the City, which can be found here.






 

Intern Spotlight

A few thoughts from a planning intern.....

How People Can Aid in the City’s Revival
     I am a Kettering University student; I was always interested in doing volunteer work in my community as I love the feeling I get when I do something new and something helpful for others. Volunteering has given me valuable skills, knowledge, and the experience of a lifetime and it is more than just doing a good deed for me. However, I have been constantly trying to think about the role I want to play in my community or my country, and ways for people to effectively get involved in their communities, so we can all together live in a place where all people help out in improving their community.
     Volunteers are one of the best resources in any community; they provide a valuable community service that can help in solving the problems that the city might have. In addition to volunteers, local businesses can also play a major role in improving our community and drive the city’s master plan to accomplish its goals. Flint for example has a lot of challenges that need to be addressed. The kind that needs our community to be actively involved with in the process of solving the problems the city has. Volunteering has a lot of benefits to our community as it strengthens our relationships, improves neighborhoods, and it saves us a lot of money that can be spent on potential development and neighborhood improvement. It will take us acting responsibly towards our community, ensuring everyone can make a difference, even small contributions can make a difference towards moving a step forward to accomplish our goals.  
 

Upcoming Events

March 4th
Steering Committee Meeting
5:30-7:30 pm, Flint Public Library

March 8th
Keep Genesee County Beautiful Conference
8 am-1 pm, UofM-Flint

March 11th
Planning Commission Meeting
6-8 pm, City Council Chambers

March 18th
Grand Traverse Greenway Design Workshop
5-7 pm, Word of Life Church 

March 19th
Grand Traverse Greenway Revised Design Showcase
11-12 pm, Word of Life Church: 

March 25th
 Planning Commission Meeting
6-8 pm, City Council Chambers

*For a full list of upcoming Imagine Flint events please visit our calendar 

Imagine Flint Master Plan Highlights Michigan Green Communities Conference

The Michigan Green Communities Conference was held in Flint recently with the topic of conversation during the two-day event being the Imagine Flint Master Plan. Hosted by the MML, Graham Sustainability Institute, Freshwater Future, and the CS Mott Foundation, the annual conference focused on climate adaptation and resiliency in Michigan Communities and strategies needed to address such. Many of the objectives from the Imagine Flint plan were discussed in small group discussions, with over thirty municipalities sharing ideas on successful implementation and process. The Flint long-range planning division was recently awarded a grant from the Graham Institute to implement a park naturalization project in Max Brandon Park. Working with local community groups such as the Friends of Max Brandon Park, Salem Housing, the Crim Fitness Foundation, and the Genesee County Conservation District, this master plan demonstration project will address several strategies highlighted in the Open Space and Parks chapter of the master plan.


 
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