Riverview supports Trenton, River Rouge bid for clean energy grants

Sunday Times Newspapers

RIVERVIEW – The City Council voted Sept. 6 to formally support a Trenton and River Rouge grant application to redevelop coal powered power plants to increase their chances of getting grant money.

The grants are available through the U.S. Economic Development Agency, a federal agency focused on economic development that invests strategically to foster job creation, attract private investment and support economically distressed parts of the country.

Communities negatively impacted by changes in the coal power sector can apply for Partnerships for Opportunity and Workforce and Economic Revitalization grants.

In addition to Trenton and River Rouge, the local grant submission consortium has the support of the Delta Institute, the Downriver Community Conference and Detroit Edison.

The non-profit, Chicago-based Delta Institute works to build sustainable solutions that are economically and environmentally resilient, while the Downriver Community Conference partnership provides leadership to help Downriver entities find, obtain and responsibly manage resources from all levels of government to improve life for residents, workers and businesses.

Community Development Director Dave Scurto said the grant application was brought before Riverview and other nearby communities to obtain a show of support for the grant.

“The DCC felt that they would have a stronger chance of getting the grant for Trenton and River Rouge from the federal government if they had a regional show of support,” Scurto said. “It doesn’t cost the city anything; it’s just on paper.”

Scurto said the project touches upon the local Brownfield group that works through the DCC, but it also has brought in Detroit Edison, which has contributed $100,000, and the Delta Institute, a large non-profit that focuses on recovery plans.

Brownfield properties are those which face redevelopment or reuse property challenges because of the presence or perception of contamination.

City Manager Douglas Drysdale said when city officials talked to the DCC about the grant application, they realized city residents work at the power plants.

“The idea being that we are hopefully helping our residents as well with future economic plans, future employment,” Drysdale said.