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Marquette County awarded 9 infrastructure grants

By Journal Staff

MARQUETTE — Nine rural development grants totaling over $500,000 have been awarded to projects in Marquette County for the betterment of local infrastructure, sustainability and land-based industries.

These grants come from the Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The city of Marquette received $45,500 to conduct planning for a comprehensive bike lane infrastructure project.

A total of $33,225 was awarded to Meister’s Farm, a Christmas tree farm on County Road 480, to enhance its existing irrigation pond, incorporate a drip irrigation system and put up deer fencing.

A nonprofit organization called Friends of Historic Thunder Bay received $100,000 to establish an equipment lending library at Big Bay’s Thunder Bay Inn. This will promote health activities, education of the natural environment and further economic viability.

Another $100,000 was awarded to The Preserve, a Marquette property management firm, to complete a new access road to the Kona Hills campground via U.S. 41.

A “glamping” campground will be constructed on the Black River to preserve the character of the land and its history using $69,592.

Huron Mountain Outfitters was awarded $65,477 to strengthen a cornerstone business in Big Bay and create a safer place to welcome families hoping to prepare for outdoor recreation.

Necessary equipment upgrades are now within reach for Marquette’s Graci Gallery with a grant worth $15,252.

Michigan Energy Options’ new $69,000 grant will go toward the completion of a renewable energy infrastructure project at the Forestville trailhead.

Marquette’s Barrel + Beam was awarded $8,210 for the purchase of a foudre — a large cask for maturing, storing and transporting wine — and a packaging tank, along with equipment to efficiently increase craft beverage production.

“Reinvesting in the central Upper Peninsula, growing the local economy and promoting our unique way of life is a top priority of mine. Rural development grants from the state will make our region a destination location for people to live, work and play,” said 109th House District state Rep. Jenn Hill on the legislation. “I’m grateful for these grants and that MDARD sees the potential of local leaders to help residents stay and succeed in the U.P.”

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