Legislation to provide funding for emergency dredging projects in Michigan waterways was approved yesterday by the House Appropriations Committee, announced committee Chair Joe Haveman.
Senate Bill 233 provides $21 million for public harbor dredging at 49 locations statewide. The funding was added to an annual supplemental appropriation from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) for recreation and development projects.
“This is a necessary step to keep the economic recovery going strong in Michigan’s coastal communities,” said Haveman, R-Holland. “The extreme circumstances they are facing have presented an obstacle, but I’m happy to see this Legislature work together on a speedy, bipartisan solution.”
The funding will be used to remove sediment from the bottom of waterways, helping many of Michigan’s harbors and boat launches regain a sufficient depth. Low water levels across the region have put much of the state’s tourism on hold and threatened local businesses in affected areas.
“This is an important issue for the hard-working residents who rely on our tourism and the recreation-related small businesses that are providing jobs,” said Haveman. “This bill will help them get back on their feet in time for the summer season and give peace of mind to the communities that have been searching for a solution.”
Senate Bill 233 now moves to the full House for consideration.
Press Release, March 14, 2013