Thursday, June 17, 2021

Gov. Whitmer proposes investing $250 million in federal relief in state parks

ST. IGNACE, Mich. (WLUC) – Thursday afternoon, Governor Gretchen Whitmer visited Straits State Park in St. Ignace. On the campground, she proposed a plan to spend $250 million in federal COVID-19 reduction on Michigan’s state parks.

“Sadly over the past decade, we haven’t invested in our parks and public areas like we should always,” Whitmer mentioned. “Due to the disinvestment, our state parks have had a $264 million backlog of upkeep requests.”

The governor says wanted upkeep consists of modernizing water and sanitary methods, upgrading infrastructure, enhancing entry, and preserving constructions which might be a part of Michigan’s historical past. She says these tasks may even assist to spice up the state’s economic system.

“Tourism to those parks generates worth for our surrounding communities, creating jobs and sustaining small companies,” mentioned Whitmer. “On common, each greenback we spend money on land conservation results in 4 {dollars} in financial profit.”

“Individuals don’t simply go to a park,” mentioned Michigan Division of Pure Sources director Dan Eichinger. “They eat in our eating places, they cease and spend cash in our shops and different companies, and with the way in which that the character of labor has modified, a lot of them are shopping for properties and relocating to those communities.”

Whitmer says she is longing for bipartisan help of the parks proposal. Nonetheless, Senate republicans launched a plan earlier this week that may dedicate $1.5 billion in federal funds to restore Michigan bridges in extreme situation.

State Senator Ed McBroom says each proposals are working towards the aim of sustaining and enhancing Michigan’s sources.

“Whether or not it’s the parks, bridges, roads, harbors, these are issues that may make a long-term impression,” mentioned McBroom.

When requested if she would help the $1.5 billion spending on bridge repairs, Whitmer mentioned, “We’re going to have to speak about what that infrastructure spending seems to be like. After all, anytime somebody’s speaking about roads and bridges, they’re talking my language, so I really feel very assured that we’re going to have the ability to discover some widespread floor on a number of these fronts.”

Whitmer says state parks profit visitors bodily, emotionally, and mentally. She believes they’re a useful useful resource to Michigan residents in 2021 and past.

“After a pandemic that exacerbated and uncovered so many underlying points and put a pressure on our psychological well being and bodily wellbeing, we want our parks greater than ever,” she mentioned. “That’s why proper now’s the time to make this historic funding.”

Watch Governor Whitmer’s full press convention here.

Copyright 2021 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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