The Pokagon Fund Announces Major Grant to Help Revitalize Downtown New Buffalo
Janet Cocciarelli, Executive Director of The Pokagon Fund, signs agreement letter with Mayor Lou O’Donnell and City Treasurer, Kate Vyskocil.

The Pokagon Fund is pleased to announce that it will support the City of New Buffalo with $1.6 million in funding for its Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The project, which is expected to take approximately 18 months, will help improve both the look and utility of the city’s commercial and nearby residential districts.

“One of the primary focus areas of The Pokagon Fund is community vitality,” said Rob Gow, chairman of the Fund’s board of trustees. “We can think of no better example than the Downtown Revitalization Initiative, which we are confident will bring new energy and activity to our area, benefitting both residents and visitors alike.”

Plans for the Downtown Revitalization Project call for such aesthetic improvements as wider sidewalks, more attractive landscaping, better lighting and the installation of public art as well as above- and below-ground infrastructure upgrades that will increase accessibility, parking and safety. The first phase of construction is expected to begin in December, 2016 with completion of the final phase of the project in May, 2018.

“A project of this size and complexity would not be possible without the generosity of The Pokagon Fund, which is contributing one-third of the total project budget,” said Robert Anderson, New Buffalo City Manager. “We believe the Downtown Revitalization Initiative will expand business opportunities, improve pedestrian and automotive traffic and foster a more appealing community environment.  We are grateful that The Pokagon Fund recognizes the importance of our project to the community, and we look forward to working with them over the coming months.”

As part of the overall project, the City of New Buffalo will look for opportunities to broaden awareness of the Pokagon Band and its history, culture and patronage.