LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos applauded the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) board of trustees for including two St. Joseph County development projects among its recommendations for 2017.
The trust fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights.
“The purpose of Michigan’s Natural Resources Trust Fund is to invest constitutionally restricted funds into vibrant parks and recreational resources that make our state a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “I am pleased that the 2017 recommendations include two St. Joseph County projects that would give area residents and out-of-state tourists increased access to outstanding outdoor opportunities from connecting neighborhoods and parks to enjoying the serenity of the St. Joseph River.”
The NRTF board recommended using $27.7 million from the trust fund to support 27 acquisition projects and $19.9 million for 87 development projects.
Included in the 2017 recommendations is $254,000 to extend the Three Rivers Health Trail. The trail would include parking on South Health Parkway and follow the Millard Road right-of-way north to Meyer Broadway Park in Fabius Township.
St. Joseph County would receive $46,300 from the fund to provide an ADA accessible river trail route along the St. Joseph River. By installing two EZ Dock systems, with built-in features for individuals with disability and mobility challenges, the project would provide access to the St. Joseph River, increase its recreational use and create additional fishing opportunities.
“These projects will allow the residents of St. Joseph County to better utilize our wonderful natural resources,” Proos said. “They will create new recreation opportunities and promote the health and wellness and overall livability of our communities.”
The NRTF recommendations for 2017 will go to the Legislature for review as part of the appropriations process next year.
Editor’s note: Audio comments from Proos will be available later on the senator’s website at www.SenatorJohnProos.com/audio.