“Shovel ready” projects identified by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources among its long list of critical needs in Michigan state parks include an upgrade to a local lake.
The DNR has given the green light – along with $15,962,000 – to state park projects in Bay, Cheboygan, Delta, Iosco, Mackinac, Monroe, Ontonagon, Saginaw, Washtenaw and Wayne counties. Locally, $65,000 will be used to install a new fishing pier with more universally accessible features at Portage Lake in the Portage Lake Campground. The project will match a federal grant and state funds for the installation at the Waterloo Recreation Area in Washtenaw County.
State officials say the projects are part of the DNR’s Phase 1 funding made possible through Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Building Michigan Together Plan, a $4.8 billion infrastructure package signed in March that included a record-setting $250 million to help address a decades-long backlog of repair and maintenance needs at state parks and build a new state park in Flint. That funding stemmed from the federal relief program, the American Rescue Plan.
Ron Olson, chief of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division, said the first batch of projects is out for design and bid, and the DNR expects to announce selected Phase 2 projects in the coming months.