LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas supported four area projects in the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) bill signed by the governor on Thursday.
“Many Michigan families and visitors revel in having fun in the great outdoors,” said Stamas, R-Midland. “The Natural Resources Trust Fund was created four decades ago to invest constitutionally restricted resources into creating outstanding recreational opportunities in our state, and that is exactly what these projects will do.”
Senate Bill 76 authorizes the trust fund to support 27 acquisition projects and 87 development projects. Matching funds of $40.1 million bring the total investment to more than $87.7 million.
Alpena County has two projects funded for 2017. The city of Alpena will get $205,000 toward a $430,000 development at Starlite Beach at Mich-e-ke-wis Park on Lake Huron. The project will include a new splash park, access pathways, sun shelters with picnic tables, a shoreline sitting wall, landscaping and a beach ramp.
Long Rapids Township will get $70,000 toward $140,000 in improvements to Long Rapids Township Park along the Thunder Bay River, including a new accessible canoe/kayak launch and a fishing/wildlife viewing platform.
“These two Alpena County projects will give new and exciting recreational options to children and adults of all ages and of all abilities,” Stamas said. “From the new splash park at a free park on Lake Huron to new kayaking and fishing opportunities along Thunder Bay River, these improvements will help get people active in the outdoors and enhance the entire community.”
In Montmorency County, Briley Township will receive $150,800 toward a $255,800 project to improve river access at Briley Township Park. The development will renovate a building for restrooms and feature a new fishing pier, a kayak/canoe launch and new walkways.
“The 6-acre park on the Thunder Bay River is a popular destination for fishing, events and festivals, and this project will help improve access to the river for years for come,” Stamas said.
In Alcona County, The village of Lincoln will receive $15,000 from the NRTF to remove an existing boat launch and replace it with a new launch. The project will feature on-site car and boat trailer parking and an access walkway for persons with disabilities.
“Once again, we are using the trust fund to increase public access to one of Michigan’s great natural resources,” Stamas said. “Brownlee Lake is a popular spot for excellent fishing. This project will replace the current public boat launch, which is more than 60 years old and has deteriorated well beyond safe use.”
The NRTF is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights. The trust fund is constitutionally restricted for natural resources improvements and land acquisitions across the state.