Stamas supports four Otsego County projects in NRTF bill

Sen. Jim Stamas

Sen. Jim Stamas

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. Jim Stamas supported four Otsego County 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.

“Otsego County will see three developments this year along the Iron Belle Trail, which will eventually allow outdoor enthusiasts to travel on a safe and continuous path from Ironwood in the Upper Peninsula to Belle Isle in Detroit,” Stamas said. “Once completed, these projects will offer tremendous opportunities for families to spend time biking or hiking on the trail while also improving safety for trail users and greater access to local businesses and parks.”

SB 76 invests $300,000 toward a $2.3 million extension of the Iron Belle Trail in Otsego County from Waters to Wisconsin Avenue in Gaylord. The 11-mile trail will run next to the Lake State Railroad tracks and along Old Highway 27.

In Gaylord, the Department of Natural Resources will use $300,000 from the NRTF toward a $690,800 development of a 1.65 mile paved trail between Grandview Boulevard and Fairview Road. The project will connect to the Otsego County Trail and the North Central State Trail, filling in a gap in the biking route of the Iron Belle Trail.

Corwith Township will receive $300,000 toward a $453,800 development of a community park and trailhead in Vanderbilt on the Iron Belle-North Central State Trail, which will also serve as a gateway to the nearby Pigeon River Country State Forest.

“Tennis lovers will also benefit from this year’s projects, which will help construct new tennis courts at the Otsego County Sportsplex,” Stamas said. “The courts will provide an outstanding location for tournaments and for people to learn a new sport or play tennis with their friends.”

Otsego County will receive $175,700 toward a $300,000 development of four outdoor tennis courts at the sportsplex to allow for the growth of tennis programs in the county.

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.