The four-year grant will be used to help city officials develop and rebuild Flint's economic development infrastructure. After years under the control of state-appointed emergency managers, staff levels in Flint City Hall have been reduced to the bare bones, leaving a handful of professionals in place to handle the workload previously handled by an entire team. To address the critical needs facing the city — from water quality improvement, to deteriorating infrastructure, to a shrinking tax base — additional funding is critical. Resources also are needed to help the city sharpen its focus on economic development, which is critical to any turnaround of its future prospects.
"Now that the needs related to water are being addressed and lead-tainted pipes are being replaced, we have to focus on revitalization and economic development," said Flint mayor Karen Weaver. "We need a plan in place to retain and attract more people and businesses to Flint. Businesses that offer good-paying jobs for our residents. Once we accomplish that, we will have stronger neighborhoods and stronger schools and then our population will grow. That is what Flint needs to really bounce back."