USA: Muxlow Supports Emergency Dredging Plan
State Rep. Paul Muxlow announced his support and optimism at the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) 2013 Emergency Dredging Plan which includes more than $1.5 million of funding for Blue Water and Huron lakeshore harbors.
The plan includes a proposal of Grants-in-Aid of $71,995 each for the Port Huron River Street and Fort Street marinas, and $280,000 for the Port Sanilac Municipal Harbor. The Lexington State Harbor is targeted to receive $1.05 million from the state through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
“Our Pure Michigan lakeshore communities are facing record-low water levels this year,” said Rep. Muxlow, R-Brown City. “Cities and towns around the state depend on the viability of their ports and harbors. It is crucial that this plan get approved and be the starting point to find solutions to keep our harbors safe and viable.”
The DNR plan requests that the money be appropriated from the Waterways Fund and a portion from the general fund. They are also looking to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the federal government to give supplemental funding.
“Pure Michigan harbors are not just for recreation, they are the arteries of commerce and shipping in our state,” Muxlow said. “Keeping these harbors in useable condition and properly maintained is crucial to the economic stability of the shipping industry in our region. We can alleviate much needed pressure from our roadways through waterway shipping and so this issue stretches beyond just one area of commerce and infrastructure.”
A major part of this plan is that the DNR has proposed to waive the regular requirement that local governments match the funds appropriated to them by the state and will allow local communities to receive zero-match waterways grant emergency-dredging monies.
The next step is for the Michigan Legislature to concur with the governor’s recommendation that $21 million be spent for the purpose of dredging.
“While this doesn’t solve the low levels in our Great Lakes, it is a good first measure to take to ensure that our communities remain economically stable,” Muxlow said. “My goal is to do everything that I can to convince our Legislature to support this plan in order to keep Michigan on its path to economic prosperity and recovery.”
Press Release, February 25, 2013