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Information from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on low interest loans for passive solar hoophouses and on a the opportunity for public comment on the 2011 Michigan Consolidated Plan, and information from USDA Rural Development on YOUR TOWN, a regional planning design grant through the National Endowment for the Arts.


Source: Rural Partners of Michigan

MEDC & USDA News and Programs

As an attendee of at least one of the two previous Michigan Small Town and Rural Development Conferences, Rural Partners of Michigan is providing this information from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation on low interest loans for passive solar hoophouses and on a the opportunity for public comment on the 2011 Michigan Consolidated Plan, and information from USDA Rural Development on YOUR TOWN, a regional planning design grant through the National Endowment for the Arts.

Low-Interest Loans Available to Farms and Non-Profits to Install Agricultural Passive Solar Systems (Hoophouses)

The State of Michigan is offering low-interest loans between $5,000-$15,000 for family farms or non-profit 501(c)(3) organizations to install passive solar systems, also known as hoophouses.  A passive solar system is a structure which can extend the growing season to 10 to 12 months without additional supplemental heat or light. A recent on-farm research project by 12 private farms and Michigan State University has shown that passive solar systems can generate gross and net sales at a rate which would make a loan repayable in one to four years. "These loans are a great opportunity for farmers or non-profits to extend Michigan's growing season allowing them to grow more produce and more varieties," said DELEG Acting Director Andrew S. Levin. "It is not only a great way to feed Michigan families, but it also benefits our environment by reducing the use of fossil fuels in agricultural operations." 



The loans can only be used to cover materials, supplies and equipment costs. Interest on approved loans is fixed at 4 percent for a maximum of 6 years. Systems already installed are ineligible for the program. Applicants can apply now through February 15, 2011. Applications and loan specifications are available at: www.michiganadvantage.org/PSS. Applications for funding will be reviewed by an advisory committee and awarded based on project merit and applicant creditworthiness. 



The loans are made possible by Public Act 242 of 2009, which established the Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Revolving Loan Fund (Energy Revolving Loan Fund) Program to provide low-interest loans to public or private entities for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects and partnerships with the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Agriculture. For questions about application requirements, contact: David Binkley at (517) 373-7673 or email: binkleyd@michigan.gov. Questions about projects and technical issues should be directed to Adam Montri at (517)-355-5191 Ext. 1407 or email: admontri@msu.edu. For an application, you can also go to:
http://www.michigan.gov/dleg/0,1607,7-154-25676-217576--,00.html

Public Notice for the 2011 Michigan Consolidated Plan

The Consolidated Plan identifies the state's housing and community development needs and proposes how these needs will be addressed during the next program year (July 1, 2011 to June 30, 2012).   A public hearing will be held in Lansing on February 15 and written comments will be received until March 18.

Public Comment Period for the 2011 Michigan Consolidated Plan Document

Your Town: The Citizens’ Institute on Rural Design

A National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) funded opportunity for non-profits, community organizations, and local governments to tackle critical regional planning issues through design by bringing design professionals to your community for a multi-day workshop. Attached is information on this grant program with submissions due by February 25, 2011.

Your Town Request for Proposals 2011 Document

Document viewable through Adobe® Acrobat® Reader.