The Northville Historical Society has been awarded a $95,000 state grant to fund improvements at Mill Race Village.
City officials collaborated with representatives of the Northville Historical Society to pursue the funding through the SEMCOG (South East Michigan Council of Governments) Stormwater Improvements Grant Program. The Northville Historical Society was awarded the funding to support the installation of a pervious paver drive lane and walkways, as well as the addition of two rain gardens, at Mill Race Village in 2024.
Northville Historical Society Board President Bill Stockhausen worked with River Restoration Task Force Chair Nancy Darga and city consultant Nate Geinzer to secure the grant. Engineering plans have been completed by Fleis & Vandenbrink. Bidding procedures for project construction are being prepared and construction is expected to take place in summer 2024.
Currently the lane is dirt and gravel, which adds historic authenticity to the village but also is muddy for pedestrians following rain or snow, officials said. The bigger problem is the excess stormwater runoff that flows into the nearby Middle Rouge River, they added. The grant funds will help mitigate the stormwater runoff of this large project.
The main lane that traverses the village will be paved with pervious pavers, beginning at the entrance gate and extending to the front of the Yerkes house. An inground drainage system will be installed on either side of the lane and will feed into two new rain gardens. The rain gardens are expected to capture rainfall events with any excess being filtered and directed, through drainage pipes, to the Middle Rouge River. The far lower rate of stormwater runoff estimated at about 350,000 gallons per year, will keep the river cleaner and help prevent flooding in the historic buildings, officials said.