The light rail investment advances multiple strategic objectives on the part of Kresge. Its 13 planned stations will spur commercial and residential revitalization while linking the city's major arts and cultural institutions and athletic arenas. Because light rail is a clean transportation source and should reduce the number of cars on area roads, the system is expected to reduce carbon emissions, helping to protect the region's air quality and its substantial natural resources.
As with past grants of similar magnitude, the trustees conditioned payments - which will be made over four years - on meeting a series of project benchmarks. "We have every expectation that these benchmarks will be met in a timely way, leading to the beginning of construction this year and the line's completion in late-2010," adds Rapson.
The trustees approved ten other grants and one program-related investment to Detroit-area nonprofit organizations. The total, including the light rail investment, was $40.1 million.
In other fields of interest, awards were made to community colleges and early childhood education organizations, arts and culture organizations, and environmental organizations working to advance energy efficiency and renewable energy.
"No community is immune to the effects of the economic maelstrom we are experiencing," concludes Rapson. "Our hope is that we can help improve the day-to-day quality of life of our most disadvantaged citize
|SOURCE The Kresge Foundation|
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