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The Capitol Regional Council of Governments (CAPCOG) is urging state lawmakers in the Capitol Caucus to secure funding from federal relief funds provided to the state of Michigan for key regional projects that focus on economic development, job creation and infrastructure. In a letter to Capitol Caucus members, CAPCOG board members cited 29 regional projects that the group says are “critical community projects for the Greater Lansing region.”

“As the State Legislature continues to look at ways to maximize the state’s share of federal relief funds, we believe these projects are necessary and transformational investments that will help the region achieve long-term goals vital to our recovery and growth,” said Kam Washburn, CAPCOG board member and chair of the Clinton County Board of Commissioners.

Among the key regional projects cited by CAPCOG is $325 million to help downtown Lansing recover from the Covid-19 pandemic. The group is advocating for a program to convert office to residential to help offset main street business losses as well as offset losses to the city.

“With the state of Michigan being the largest employer in our urban core and reducing their footprint, we are advocating for the state to provide federal funds to create a statewide downtown multi-story conversion program,” said Bryan Crenshaw, CAPCOG Board member and chair of the Ingham County Board of Commissioners.

CAPCOG is also supporting a proposal to provide $5 million to Downtown Lansing, Inc. for a comprehensive market analysis for purposes of developing a plan to rejuvenate the downtown core. CAPCOG also urged lawmakers to secure $15 million in funding for the Michigan Joint Training Innovation Center which will be a shared public-private resource located at the former Sears Frandor location. The Michigan Joint Training Innovation Center will give Michigan citizens and businesses access to state-of-the-art technologies that will drive the digital economy.

CAPCOG also cited several county specific projects that are critical needs in Ingham, Eaton and Clinton Counties, including: Wastewater Treatment Plant improvements in Ingham County; the Chandler Road extension project in Clinton County and the Delta Township Water Resources Recovery Facility in Eaton County.

“These projects are transformational investments that will help our region achieve long-term goals in fostering business competitiveness and growing well-paying jobs,” stated Jeremy Whittum, CAPCOG board member and chair of the Eaton County Board of Commissioners.