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Thursday, 07 March 2013 14:34

Michigan Senate OKs $21 million to dredge harbors

(AREA) -- The Michigan Senate has voted to authorize $21 million in emergency spending to dredge Great Lakes harbors grappling with record-low water levels. The bill passed 31-5 Thursday and now heads to the House. The short-term fix would buy time while Governor Rick Snyder's administration and legislators search for permanent revenue to help water-starved harbors. The federal government has cut back on dredging and the lakes continue declining. Dredging involves removing sediments so water is deep enough for boats and barges. The bill specifies 49 dredging projects to be done. The legislation also would authorize the spending of $23 million from a trust fund to buy land and improve land for public recreation. In Huron County, almost an acre of land adjacent to the Judge James H. Lincoln Memorial Bathing Beach in Harbor Beach will be purchased at a cost of $200,000. Accessible playground equipment for Forester Park in Sanilac County will be purchased at a cost of $38,000 with $19,000 coming from the trust fund.