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New program helps Michigan cities navigate clean water funds

Flickr user Steve Johnson

Michigan cities are getting help to navigate the state and federal red tape for loans and grants for drinking water systems.

A study by the University of Michigan found Michigan was dead last among the states for accessing State Revolving Fund loans and grants to update drinking water systems.

The Michigan Municipal League Foundation is launching a program called MI Water Navigator. The study found smaller cities often don’t have the staff or the expertise to get through the application process.

Grace Carey is with the foundation.

“And having a couple of extra hands to help navigate those funding sources to help get them application-ready is sometimes the push the community needs to get that application in and get that funding in the door.”

A website has launched and municipalities will soon get help for free from a private consultancy firm.

Lester Graham reports for The Environment Report. He has reported on public policy, politics, and issues regarding race and gender inequity. He was previously with The Environment Report at Michigan Radio from 1998-2010.