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Northern Michigan communities receiving $6 million to repair infrastructure damaged by deep freeze

Tuesday, July 22, 2014 

LANSING, Mich.– Gov. Rick Snyder today announced $6 million in assistance for six Upper Peninsula and three northern Lower Peninsula counties that received a “state of emergency” declaration after sustaining heavy infrastructure damage due to extremely cold temperatures and deep frost levels last winter.

The nine counties—Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Delta, Emmet, Gogebic, Luce, Mackinac and Marquette—will be eligible to receive Community Development Block Grants (CDBG) to repair damaged water and sewer mains, roads and other vital infrastructure.

“The state is stepping up and assisting our northern Michigan communities to repair their damaged infrastructure,” Snyder said. “Last winter’s extremely cold temperatures and deep frost levels caused millions of dollars in damages. It makes good sense to begin the repairs as quickly as possible to restore water and sewer mains and roads in the affected areas.”

At a meeting earlier today, the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) board approved a proposal by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) to announce a competitive round of CDBG funding to assist impacted communities.  The MEDC has received requests from northern Michigan communities for assistance, and past projects approved by the MEDC and MSF face some jeopardy if basic infrastructure is not repaired quickly.

Under terms of the approved proposal, the MSF will award deep freeze funds through an online competitive Request-for-Proposal (RFP) process.

It requires communities to:

  • Be non-entitlement under federal CDBG rules;
  • Document that they are unable to fund the activities with other funding;
  • Have hard infrastructure repairs (water, sewer, and/or road work related to water/sewer) that occurred after November 1, 2013; and
  • Match a minimum of 15 percent of costs and, if eligible, continue the process to seek Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) funding.

The MEDC will continue to work with the Michigan State Police, Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division to ensure a coordinated response to deep freeze issues in the nine counties.

Snyder declared a “state of emergency” on April 17 for Marquette County to ensure all possible state resources, in accordance with the Michigan Emergency Management Plan, would be provided to assist the local response to the damage caused by last winter’s extremely cold temperatures and deep frost levels. On May 7, the emergency declaration was amended to include Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Chippewa, Delta, Emmet, Gogebic, Luce and Mackinac counties.