Green, Canfield, Pavlov secure funding for Grindstone Dock repairs

LANSING, Mich. — Gov. Rick Snyder on Thursday signed into law legislation that will fund the state of Michigan for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

Included in the 2018-2019 budget was a planning grant for updates and repairs to the Grindstone Harbor in Port Austin Township.

Grindstone City, located at the tip of the thumb, was home to a booming grindstone industry during the early 1900s. A grindstone is a large stone that has been ground down to a true, flat surface, primarily used for sharpening tools. Due to advancements in technology, the industry slowly died out and much of the town went with it.

“The Grindstone Harbor is in a unique position in the Thumb,” said Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville. “It is an ideal location for upgrades because there are no other ports or harbors around. The closest one is Harbor Beach, which is 10 miles away.”

The 2018-2019 budget includes a planning grant of $120,000 for upgrades to the existing harbor — making it suitable for kayakers, fishermen and others who enjoy the outdoors.

The grant will go toward building an area to launch kayaks; building a fish cleaning station, bathrooms and boat docks; dredging the harbor and establishing a fund for upkeep of the location.

“This is a fantastic development for the area,” said Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “There are no harbors for at least 10 miles in either direction. I think this will give more Michiganders an opportunity to fish, kayak and enjoy our state’s beautiful outdoors.”

State Rep. Edward Canfield agreed.

“The harbor has the potential to drastically improve the outdoor opportunities for area residents,” said Canfield, R-Sebewaing. “The harbor, as it currently sits, is an uncut gem. This grant will bring it up to par with other Thumb-area harbors and will serve not only as a boost to local economies, but as a destination for residents all over the state.”

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Green supports 2018-2019 fiscal year budget

Sen. Mike Green

Sen. Mike Green

LANSING, Mich. — The state Legislature on Tuesday approved two bills that will fund the state of Michigan for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.

“For eight years now, the Legislature has approved a balanced budget ahead of schedule,” said Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville. “The negotiations were tough and I don’t support every item in the budget, but my colleagues and I worked hard, put our differences aside and came up with a product that invests in our state’s key needs, saves money for a rainy day and will benefit Michigan’s hardworking taxpayers.”

The School Aid (K-12) budget invests $14.8 billion into Michigan schools, which is the largest investment in the state’s history. Schools will see a foundation allowance increase of between $120 and $240 per pupil. Skilled trades programs will also see $40.9 million to prepare workers for high-demand jobs.

The 2018-2019 budget also increases funding for our state’s aging roads and bridges.

“For years, Michiganders have been saying the state’s crumbling roads and bridges are a priority,” Green said. “My constituents and residents from all over the state have made it clear that we need to do better — and this budget puts us in a position to do so. The appropriations in this budget increase the total new investment in our roads to $2.4 billion since 2017.”

Green said he was also happy to announce funding to attract more agriculture jobs to the state.

“I have always been an avid proponent of Michigan’s agriculture industry,” Green said. “This budget includes a $5 million investment aimed at bringing more food processing plants to the state. Four years ago, I worked to secure funding that brought in a pork processing plant, along with nearly 1,000 jobs to the state of Michigan. It is my hope that we can continue to attract companies in the food processing industry and provide jobs for Michiganders.”

Also included is money to hire more state police troopers, more corrections workers and more conservation officers. The Legislature increased revenue sharing for local governments to spend on their needs, increased funding to further improve sexual assault programs on our state’s campuses and boosted Pure Michigan tourism promotion funding by $1 million.

The budget also invests $58 million in school safety initiatives like OK2SAY that keep our students safe, increases the state’s rainy day fund to $1 billion and invests more than $80 million to protect our great lakes and natural resources.

“One of my biggest priorities as a legislator has been using taxpayer dollars in a fiscally conservative, efficient manner,” Green said. “This budget ensures funding for essential state programs and services, pays down debt, invests in our state’s future and ensures that the state lives within its means like so many hardworking families across the state.”

The fiscal year 2018-2019 budget awaits Gov. Rick Snyder’s approval.

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Green, Canfield secure funding for Tuscola County projects

LANSING, Mich. — The state Legislature on Tuesday approved two bills that will fund the state of Michigan for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. Included in the 2018-2019 budget were several projects that will benefit Tuscola County.

“Representative Canfield and I went to bat for Tuscola County residents and we were able to secure funding for some much-needed projects in the area,” said Sen. Mike Green, R-Mayville.

The two legislators were able to negotiate funding for improvements to the Tuscola County Fairgrounds. Included in the budget was $250,000 to build a new community center at the site of the fairgrounds. The community center will be open to the public year-round and will be used to host community events. Residents will also be able to rent the hall for private occasions.

Also included was $25,000 for renovations to the county fair grandstand.

“There have been some safety concerns surrounding the grandstand in recent years,” said Rep. Edward Canfield, R-Sebewaing. “These renovations will alleviate those concerns and provide a safe environment for families to enjoy the fair and other community events.”

The two Thumb-area legislators were able to confirm other funding measures for the Caro Center and the Tuscola Medical Care Community as well.

The Caro Center has been providing care to residents for over 100 years and is one of the area’s major employers. The site is home to several abandoned buildings that have been deemed a safety hazard for workers and patients alike. Legislators approved $3 million for the destruction of these old buildings and to make room for new construction.

“Many of these buildings are sitting vacant, have no practical use and are full of hazards like asbestos,” Green said. “Last year, Representative Canfield and I were able to get funding to ensure the Caro center stays in Tuscola County. With that measure complete, we are now working to get these old buildings torn down and get the new facility built so employees can continue serving residents.”

The Tuscola Medical Care Community also received $300,000 for a new walkway for patients to use. The walkway is also open to the public and will provide an outdoor area for residents and patients to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise.

Green, Canfield and Bob Wilson of the Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance all commended the funding measure.

“Michigan Trails and Greenways Alliance fully supports the Legislature utilizing these funds to support the expansion of trails in Michigan,” Wilson said. “We know that trails are the number one recreational need in the state and they are economic drivers for local communities.”

Green said he was happy to see his colleagues support these measures and thanked those who helped bring these issues to the legislators’ attention.

“One of my biggest priorities as a legislator has been using taxpayer dollars responsibly,” Green said. “These measures provide recreational opportunities for residents while also improving access to health care and securing numerous jobs. I want to thank my colleagues for recognizing the importance of these projects to the communities in my district.”

Canfield agreed.

“I want to join Senator Green in expressing my sincere gratitude to my colleagues for approving these measures,” he said. “These projects are major improvements for our districts and will greatly improve the lives of area residents.”

The fiscal year 2018-2019 budget, which includes all of these funding measures, has been sent to Gov. Rick Snyder for approval.

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