$7.5 million available for U.P. communities to help with deep freeze costs

Courtesy:  Governor  Rick Snyder’s office:

LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder today said the state is moving swiftly to inform 32 communities in northern Michigan and the Upper Peninsula of their eligibility for assistance in repairing critical infrastructure damaged during last winter’s deep freeze. The communities, which applied last month for federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program support, are being advised of potential funding for their projects.

“Many of our northern communities on both sides of the bridge were hit hard by the deep freeze and need help,” Snyder said. “The damage to critical water and sewer mains poses serious threats as the coming winter approaches. Our priority is to get these funds into eligible communities to allow them to begin repairs or reimburse them for work already underway.”

In July, Snyder announced an initial $6 million in assistance for Upper and Lower Peninsula counties that had declared a local emergency declaration or received a governor’s emergency declaration after sustaining heavy infrastructure damage due to extremely cold temperatures and deep frost levels last winter.

The Deep Freeze program, administered by the Michigan Economic Development Corp., (MEDC), has sent letters and emails to applicant communities to provide them an update on the status of their applications. When the process is completed and all required information is submitted, MEDC will seek any necessary additional funding through the Michigan Strategic Fund to total this $7.5 million in eligible projects.

Thirty-two communities in 12 counties – Alger, Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Delta, Emmet, Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Luce, Mackinac and Marquette – are eligible to receive the CDBG funds to repair damaged water and sewer mains, roads and other vital infrastructure.

Each community will be required to provide written certification that the funds it receives will address damage that occurred to public infrastructure resulted directly from the extreme weather conditions between Nov. 1, 2013, and June 1, 2014. The communities must respond to this commitment letter by Tuesday, Sept. 16 at 5 p.m. Two weeks later, on Sept. 30, communities that continue in the program must submit documentation to complete the application process and CDBG compliance items.

In addition to the Deep Freeze CDBG, Snyder has opened an application period for the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund through the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division (MSP/EMHSD) to potentially provide financial assistance to northern Michigan and U.P. communities impacted by last winter’s deep freeze. Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Delta, Emmet, Gogebic, Luce, Mackinac and Marquette counties and their respective communities are eligible to apply due to receiving a governor’s emergency declaration.

Eligible counties and communities affected by the deep freeze may apply for assistance grants for up to $100,000 or 10 percent of the previous year’s operating budget, whichever is less.

The Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund is used when communities demonstrate an exhaustion of local resources during a disaster or emergency. The money can be applied toward the immediate prevention, response and recovery of a disaster or emergency and may cover overtime for public employees, contracts used during the response, shelter supplies, gasoline used during the response and repair of public buildings and infrastructure.

Under extraordinary circumstances, the governor may authorize reimbursement from the Disaster and Emergency Contingency Fund to provide state assistance to counties and municipalities when federal assistance is not available. For more information, affected communities are encouraged to contact their local emergency management coordinators.

MEDC will continue to work with the MSP/EMHSD to ensure a coordinated response to deep freeze issues in the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

Snyder declared a “state of emergency” on April 17 for Marquette County to ensure all possible state resources, in accordance with the Michigan Emergency Management Plan, would be provided to assist the local response to the damage caused by last winter’s extremely cold temperatures and deep frost levels. On May 7, the emergency declaration was amended to include Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Delta, Emmet, Gogebic, Luce and Mackinac counties.

Below is a list of communities in the U.P. and their eligible funding totals:

Charter Township of Kinross: $2,583.00

City of Bessemer : $615,743.00

City of Crystal Falls : $15,035.00

City of Escanaba: $11,940.72

City of Gladstone: $ 298,825.00

City of Iron River: $75,568.62

City of Ironwood: $531,299.00

City of Ishpeming: $999,900.00

City of Marquette: $481,267.00

City of Munising: $170,935.00

City of Negaunee: $427,170.75

City of Sault Ste. Marie: $968,403.00

City of St. Ignace: $995,455.00

City of Wakefield: $56,744.45

County of Marquette: $3,412.96

Township of Adams: $67,735.00

Township of Bessemer: $494,376.00

Township of Calumet: $161,500.00

Township of Ely: $27,023.51

Township of Forsyth: $14,452.50

Township of Ishpeming: $61,635.77

Township of Powell: $11,804.00

Township of Republic: $34,895.00

Village of Calumet: $139,400.00

Village of Laurium: $258,300.00

Village of Newberry: $146,954.00