New grant would be used to improve environment

Muncie and Ball State University are partnering to develop a grant proposal to the Environmental Protection Agency that could allocate up to $400,000 to address environmental problems in the city.

The Community Action for a Renewed Environment grant is given to organizations to act as a project coordinator that addresses environmental issues, Ball State proposal manager Justin Miller said. The idea is to gather as many partners as possible for the project, he said.

Miller said getting the grant has two levels. One involves getting all the partners together, discussing problems and prioritizing. The second level is developing a plan and implementing it, he said.

The proposal is due next week, Miller said.

Lina Gordy, grant specialist for the Muncie Sanitary District, said Muncie residents have the opportunity to influence the grant and what is done with it if the city receives it. She said working with Ball State will only help.

"This is a really good, unique opportunity for the Sanitary District to work with other organizations in the city and county, but also Ball State," Gordy said. "We haven't had many opportunities; it's a step in the right direction."

Gordy said the first level of the grant is designed to identify a wide array of environmental issues in a community, including energy use and air and water quality. The Sanitary District is using an online survey for Muncie residents to help determine the most significant problems. About 75 people, more than Gordy expected, have replied to the survey, she said. Green infrastructure - bike paths, parks and tree canopies - has been the issue most people have selected, she said. Up to $100,000 can be granted in the first level.

Level two of the grant would allocate up to $300,000, she said. That money would go to making the plan and implementing it.

She said Ball State and Muncie looked into getting the grant at about the same time. They partnered to combine resources. She said the sanitary district is heading the project but is working with James Eflin, chairman of the department of natural resources and environmental management at Ball State, to include the university.

Eflin could not be reached for comment.

Gordy said the EPA received about 130 grant proposals in 2008 and it only gave about 18. Even with the heavy competition, she said Muncie had a good chance to get the grant.


More from The Daily

Loading Recent Classifieds...