LANSING, Mich. — The Michigan Senate on Wednesday approved legislation allocating $27.9 million from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) to natural resources improvement and acquisition projects across the state, including more than $4 million for projects in the Thumb.
The trust fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights.
“The Natural Resources Trust Fund helps fund projects in the 25th District and throughout the state,” said Sen. Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township. “The money in this bill will help support six important projects in Huron, Macomb and St. Clair counties and enhance the quality of life for those in the area.”
The projects in the Thumb benefiting from the NRTF grants are:
• Macomb County: New Baltimore will receive $2.85 million for a marina acquisition;
• Macomb County: The Parks and Recreation Division will receive $1 million for a Lake St. Clair Boating Access Site;
• Huron County: Harbor Beach will receive $295,000 for a waterfront enhancement project;
• St. Clair County: The county will receive $97,500 for Pine River property acquisition;
• St. Clair County: The county will receive $65,800 for Belle River property acquisition; and
• St. Clair County: Algonac will receive $50,000 for riverfront park lighting replacement.
House Bill 5377 authorizes the trust fund to spend $27.9 million to support 70 land acquisition and recreational development projects statewide.
The NRTF uses constitutionally restricted funds to provide financial assistance to local governments and the Department of Natural Resources to purchase land or rights in land for public recreation or protection of land because of its environmental importance or its scenic beauty. It also assists in the appropriate development of land for public outdoor recreation.
HB 5377 now heads to Gov. Rick Snyder, who is expected to sign the measure.