In the most recent round of TIGER grants announced last week, the City of Tampa, Florida will receive $11 million to finish its Riverwalk project. The Tampa Bay Times reports that the grant, awarded by U.S. DOT through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, will help fix two gaps in the walkway in a section of downtown Tampa where crashes between cars, cyclists and pedestrians are common. The 2.6-mile walkway along the Hillsborough River will also be connected to a 1.7-mile multi-use trail, which will create pedestrian and bike connections to bus and streetcar lines.
Partnership in the News
The Ames Intermodal Facility in Ames, Iowa, a transportation hub that will bring together parking, transit access, public and private transportation providers, and the Iowa State University and Ames communities, opened its doors last week. A ribbon-cutting ceremony was attended by Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff and U.S. Senator Tom Harkin as well as the mayor of Ames and the president of Iowa State.
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During a recent trip to seven Sustainable Communities grantees in Texas, Department of Housing and Urban Development staff were able to see new and innovative economic development strategies in action. They visited Regional Planning grantees Houston-Galveston Area Council and Heart of Texas Council of Governments near Waco, as well as Austin, which received both Regional Planning and Community Challenge grants, and other Community Challenge grantees Dallas, Fort Worth, and Garland.
In rural Baxter, Minnesota, HUD staff met with 175 community members representing area youth, seniors, business leaders and residents who had gathered to help guide the Region 5 Resilient Region planning process. The HUD team also visited the Twin Cities and a meeting of 200 community leaders and foundations to look at the progress that has been made on the Central Corridor Funders Collaborative, a group of local and national funders that support the Central Corridor Light Rail Line.
The Smoky Mountain News reported recently that 5 North Carolina counties are coming together with a project called GroWNC, which aims to get the entire Western NC region to think collectively about economic development strategies that include sustainability. GroWNC is currently holding meetings in all 5 counties- Haywood, Transylvania, Buncombe, Henderson and Madison- that will gain feedback on these economic development goals as well as information about residents and their concerns. Participants are being asked questions ranging from what they love most about Western North Carolina to individual demographics to their opinion on the project.
The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) recently began a pilot program for “PowerSaver”, a new loan that will allow Maine homeowners to borrow up to $25,000 to make energy improvements. These improvements will be based on a list of proven measures developed by FHA and the Department of Energy (DOE) that will make weatherization and comfort improvements easy and affordable across the state.
At a recent meeting of the Ranson City Council, members unanimously approved proposals that were two years in the making, adopting a new Comprehensive Plan and zoning code that will guide growth and development in the area for years to come. In all, 640 acres of Old Town Ranson and 1,000 acres of greenfield properties will be rezoned. Ranson, a rural town on the edge of the Baltimore-Washington region and the recipient of a HUD Community Challenge grant through the Partnership for Sustainable Communities, is starting to create a comprehensive plan for regional growth.
The Wichita Eagle reported recently that the Wichita City Council voted 6-1 to join Sedgwick County in participating in a Regional Area Economic Partnership funded by a Department of Housing and Urban Development Regional Planning grant. The Regional Area Economic Partnership (REAP) will focus on producing a sustainable community plan to address transportation, water, and health issues. REAP has an existing 23-member consortium that includes 4 other counties as well as Wichita State University.
The Arizona Daily Wildcat reported yesterday that the Sun Link streetcar project, which is funded by a Department of Transportation TIGER grant, formally broke ground yesterday in downtown Tucson. Mayor Jonathan Rothschild stated that Sun Link would benefit the city and create jobs by connecting businesses and the University of Arizona to downtown.