THE VILLAGE OF BANCROFT accepted a grant check for $20,000 on Friday, Aug. 23 from MSHDA (Michigan State Housing Development Authority) during a community event held at the Lions Park pavilion. MSHDA housing specialist Jodi Mackie presented the check to Bancroft Village Council member Ann Miller. Gathered around Mackie and Miller are Bancroft residents and community leaders, including Bancroft Police Chief Jim LePage, President Brian Barnum, DPW Director Mitch Terpening, Bancroft Village Council trustees Tamie Terpening, Linda Fuller and Robin Miller, Treasurer Linda Sedlock, Shiawassee Township board member John Sedlock and DDA member Kevin Bible.
The village will use the grant funds for the purchase of cement to secure playground equipment being installed at Lions Park and safe surface materials for the playground. Improvements will also include the repair of the park pavilion, roof replacement, electrical repair, paint and siding of gable ends, the installation of a wind barrier, picnic table repairs, updating the water fountain, new grills, the relocation of the flag pole and light, the addition of lighting to the tennis and basketball courts and other park improvements.
The acquisition of the MSHDA grant is only the latest development in the community-wide effort to improve the village. The community recently came together to raise $1,000 to purchase playground equipment – worth an estimated $85,000 – from a school in the Jackson area. The school had other, much higher offers for the equipment but chose to give the equipment to the village of Bancroft for a donation of $1,000 after hearing about the community’s revitalization efforts. The equipment acquired includes multiple playscapes, a zip-line and a merry-go-round, among others.
Also, the village recently finalized the creation of a Downtown Development Authority, they held a fundraising golf outing in May, the DDA sponsored an Easter egg hunt in partnership with the Bancroft Lions, a community yard sale – scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 5 through Sunday, Sept. 8 – has been organized to raise money to renovate the village’s community hall, the stone veteran memorial has been repaired and residents have donated their time planting and maintaining flowers throughout the village.
Additionally, a Dollar General is being constructed on the southwest corner of the intersection of Grand River and Lansing roads, plans are underway to turn the old elementary school into a veteran housing and rehabilitation center and developers have purchased the vacant Shiawassee Township Hall building on Grand River Road and the adjoining 14 acres behind Windmill Point.
After being hit hard by the economic downturn earlier this century, the residents of Bancroft have come together to clean up their village and turn it back into a desirable place to raise a family. Stay tuned for further progress reports.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)