U.P. lawmakers vote for dredging plan


LANSING – State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) and John Kivela (D-Marquette) voted in favor of Senate Bill 233 Wednesday, a bill that would fund more than 70 different projects, including 11 in Schoolcraft, Luce, Marquette, Gogebic, Iron, Baraga, Keweenaw and Alger Counties.  The bill also funds 49 emergency dredging projects across the state, including 6 in Marquette, Schoolcraft, Keweenaw and Alger counties. The bill passed 107-3.

“These funds are critical for western U.P. counties to be able to afford necessary projects that keep our communities, trails, parks and bay areas beautiful, and keep people coming to the U.P.” said Dianda.

The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund is a constitutionally protected fund that is dedicated to recreation acquisition and development projects. SB 233 would appropriate $23.3 million for 76 projects; 22 acquisition and 54 development. The bill would also appropriate $21 million for 49 emergency dredging projects that were approved by the State Waterways Commission on Feb. 8. A dredging project is considered an emergency if it has been determined that “emergency conditions warrant a dredging project to protect property, public health, safety or welfare.” The bill now will go to the governor’s desk for his signature.

“The passage of this legislation is extremely important for the 109th district since our lakes and emergency dredging projects overwhelmingly have the most need for these funds,” said Kivela.

The following projects will be funded:

·        Emergency Dredging: Big Bay Harbor of Refuge, Marquette County

·        Emergency Dredging: Manistique Municipal Marina

·        Emergency Dredging: Munising Bayshore Marina

·        Emergency Dredging: Little Lake State Harbor

·        Emergency Dredging: Lac La Belle State Harbor

·        Emergency Dredging: Burt Township, Grand Marais Marina

·        Lake Michigan and Manistique River Waterfront Acquisition: city of Manistique

·        Traders Point Lot 7 Acquisition: city of Manistique, total cost $105,100

·        Public Land Access and Consolidation: Two Hearted, Luce County

·        AuTrain Township Heritage Trailhead Development: AuTrain Township, Alger County

·        McCarty’s Cove Permanent Restrooms: city of Marquette, Marquette County

·        Munising Bay Universal Access Site: Anna River, city of Munising, Alger County

·        Iron Ore heritage Trail: Tildon Township Section Development, Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority, Marquette County

·        Michigan’s Western Gateway Trail Improvements: city of Ironwood, Gogebic County

·        Nelson Filed Accessibility Improvements: city of Iron River, Iron County

·        Marina Peninsula Boardwalk Project: village of Baraga, Baraga County

·        Grant Township Park/Copper Harbor Playground Renovations: Grant Township, Keweenaw County