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.”
“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.