The Battle to Restore Paw Paw Facade Grants Heats Up

Calling it “a slap in the face to the people of Southwest Michigan,” Mattawan State Rep. Beth Griffin has announced that the fight will continue in her bid to restore a $200,000 grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation to the community of Paw Paw. That grant was wiped out by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s budget cuts at the end of the year, and Griffin wants that money restored.

Griffin says, “This is a slap in the face to the people of Southwest Michigan,” and adds, “I will not stand idly by as the governor plays political games and holds the people of Paw Paw hostage instead of addressing their needs.”

Rep. Griffin went on to say, “I applaud State Sen. Nesbitt and Paw Paw Village officials, Sarah Moyer-Cale and Roman Plaszczak, for taking a stand for our community and fighting against the Governor’s reckless budget decisions.”

Griffin also plans to invite Paw Paw community leaders to the Governor’s State of the State address on January 29th.

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The MEDC grant was destined to help foster ongoing gains in Paw Paw’s resurgence through facade improvements in the central business district and similar work.

It was the same budget knife used by the Governor to wipe out $37.5-million in money for the award-winning Pure Michigan state tourism campaign and $37.2-million for the Going Pro skilled trades jobs program used so successfully by Michigan Works! Berrien, Cass, Van Buren here in Southwest Michigan.

Paw Paw was one of three communities to lose out on the facade improvement grants, the others being Manistee and Alpena.

State Sen. Aric Nesbitt was quoted by the Detroit News as calling the cuts an example of “holding politics over people.” He represents Paw Paw in the Michigan Senate.