Federal Money Proposed for U.P. Projects

Millions of federal dollars are coming into the U.P. this year for needed projects, including one more than 20 years in the making.

The U.S. House has passed a bill to pay for federal government operations through the end of September.

Congressman Bart Stupak says it has nearly $30 million for the U.P. and the northern Lower Peninsula combined.

More than half of that, $17 million, would be used to start construction of a new Soo Lock.

Congress first signed off on the idea way back in 1986.

More than $1.4 million would go to the U.S. Department of Energy to set up a new forest biofuel center in Escanaba.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers would be in line for nearly $900,000 so they could dredge Ontonagon Harbor.

The City of Negaunee would receive 2 shots in the arm — $570,000 to help rebuild Croix Street and nearly another $500,000 to replace its waste water system.

Marquette General Health System would also receive $190,000 to enhance its telehealth technology.

The Senate should take up the bill next week.

This is also separate from the federal stimulus package that President Obama recently signed into law.