SAGINAW, MI – At the end of January, the time window may close for the public to present ideas on how Saginaw County is spending its $ 37 million in American Rescue Plan Act stimulus funds.
Carl Ruth, chairman of the Saginaw County Commissioners Council, said he plans to recommend the deadline at a meeting next week. The announcement came as officials set a timeline for the planned public speech about the federal funds windfall.
“I get constant calls, like money is coming from the sky,” said the District 10 commissioner, who represents a part of Saginaw. “It’s nonstop.”
Ruth and her commission – which holds the strings of the $ 37 million purse – hosted the first in a series of town halls in September seeking community input on how to spend the stimulus. The rally featured business leaders, city officials and residents who pitched plans ranging from thousands to millions of dollars.
The second, third, fourth and fifth follow-up meetings have recently been scheduled. Rallies were planned at sites across the county.
The Commissioners will be holding their next stimulus-focused public strategy session on Tuesday, October 26 at 4 p.m. at the Spaulding Township Hotel, 5825 Cole in Spaulding Township.
Ruth said he could recommend the January deadline for receiving public proposals for the money at the meeting. Under federal guidelines, commissioners must finalize their stimulus spending plans by 2024.
Next week’s rally will feature another group of representatives from businesses and municipalities who are expected to come up with plans for the $ 37 million fund.
Torrie Lee, Superintendent of Buena Vista Township, was one of the expected presenters, county records said.
Among the ideas she will discuss: Spending the $ 500,000 stimulus package to demolish the old Welcome Inn Motel, located on East Holland near the intersection of South Outer Drive in the Township of Buena Vista.
The facility was closed in 2016 and municipal code enforcement officials later determined the site was at risk of collapse. County commissioners approved a brownfield plan for the hotel, hoping to demolish the structure by 2020. But the vacant building remains standing today near the Interstate 75 gateway to the community.
Eight more people are expected to present their ideas at the Oct. 26 meeting, although county records do not specify details of their presentations. These presenters are:
- Jen Carpenter, Executive Director of the Boys and Girls Club of the Bay of the Great Lakes Region
- Edward Hak, Supervisor of the Township of James
- Christina Harrington, Saginaw County Health Department Health Officer
- Adrianna Jordan, Director of the Township of Bridgeport
- Dan Manning, Community Technology Advisor at Connect Michigan, an organization that works to expand access to high-speed Internet
- Steve Meyer, President of the YMCA of Saginaw
- Irma Olguin Jr., co-founder of Bitwise Industries, a national tech advocate with an office in Detroit
- Jerry Preston, President of the Birch Run Convention and Visitor Bureau
The meeting will also be an opportunity for members of the public to present ideas, with a speaking limit of 3 minutes for each person.
Three more Saginaw County Commissioners Council meetings regarding stimulus spending ideas are scheduled over the next three months. These gatherings are:
- Tuesday, November 9 at 4 p.m. at Uptown North Main, 975 N. Main in Frankenmuth
- Monday December 13 at 4 p.m. at the YMCA of Saginaw, 1915 Fordney in Saginaw
- Tuesday January 25 at 4 p.m. at the Buena Vista Community Center, 1940 S. Outer in the Township of Buena Vista
During their meeting on Tuesday, October 19, Saginaw County Commissioners unanimously approved spending $ 200,000 of the $ 37 million stimulus to pay for the organization of jury trials of young accused until at the end of the year.
The council oversees the budget of the Saginaw County Courthouse.
As of March 2021, Saginaw County began hosting trials outside its traditional courthouse at the Saginaw County Government Center. Space limitations forced officials to seek facilities where participants could safely practice social distancing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Trials were initially halted in March 2020 and then resumed 12 months later at the Dow Event Center. Several trials have taken place, although an increase in COVID-19 cases delayed proceedings in May 2021 before resuming weeks later. In July, authorities began holding trials exclusively at the Horizons Conference Center, 6200 State in Saginaw Township.
Saginaw County was one of many municipalities in the area to receive funding from the American Rescue Plan Act. The town of Saginaw received even more money than the county: $ 52 million.
10 proposals we heard for part of Saginaw County’s $ 37 million stimulus investment
Saginaw County Could Use $ 200,000 In Stimulus Fund To Pay For Offsite Trials
Buena Vista’s ‘dangerous’ motel to be razed by the end of the year