ISHPEMING — Seven townships and cities in Marquette County said yes on Tuesday to providing funding for the future of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail.
Nearly three quarters of voters in many of those municipalities approved the measure to renew the point two mill tax levy that helps the Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority build, manage, and maintain the 47 mile trail.
“This came from what people wanted. We knew that many years ago when we started, and just hopefully they were O.K. with what we were doing,” said Recreation Authority Administrator Carol Fulsher. “I guess that was pointed out to us on Tuesday.”
Now that the funding is approved, the authority can keep going with improvements. It’s already full-steam ahead, with plans for the parallel ORV and bike trail section in the western part of the county moving forward.
“We just got DNR approval to get through Ishpeming and Negaunee, so we’ll have a trailhead at the ice arena in Negaunee,” Fulsher added. “We were out yesterday looking for how to shape the trail to make it passable for our users. It’s a side-by-side trail mostly through the City of Ishpeming, but it brings that element into the downtowns for them to spend their money as well. [It] keeps them safe [and] separated.”
Fulsher added that the authority is continually looking for additional grant money to help make the community’s investment in the trails even more worthwhile.