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Michigan communities receiving funds for telemedicine, COVID-19 relief, disaster assistance

The Houghton County Road Commission is receiving five grants totaling $208,174. Gogebic County will use an $18,000 grant to purchase an administrative vehicle.
Grant money graphic.
Grant money graphic.(WLUC)
Published: Oct. 7, 2020 at 5:46 PM EDT
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EAST LANSING, Mich. (WLUC) - The Trump Administration Wednesday announced that the United States Department of Agriculture has provided $11.9 million in loans and grants to assist communities across rural Michigan.

“We are strengthening the medical infrastructure, protecting jobs and jump-starting recovery efforts,” said USDA State Director for Michigan Jason Allen.  “These are transformative investments that will benefit rural Michigan for years to come.”

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital will use a $996,281 grant to address the problems of rural health professional shortages, particularly opioid and substance use disorder clinicians and behavioral health specialists, lack of patient access to acute hospital (critical and emergency department) and non-acute (outpatient clinic) care. The 13 hub/end user sites will provide emergency and treatment services for opioid/substance use disorders across Delta and Dickinson counties and 10 counties in western and eastern Wisconsin.

Dykhuis Farms, Inc., in Allegan County, will use a $9,671,000 CARES Act guaranteed loan to provide working capital due to disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Thomas Theatre Group, in Dickinson County, will use a $999,900 CARES Act guaranteed loan to provide capital.  The business, which operates three theaters, was closed for eight weeks and has been operating at reduced capacity since re-opening in June.

The Houghton County Road Commission is receiving five grants totaling $208,174 to help the county recover from the 2018 flood.  Equipment purchased with the funds includes:

  • A hydraulic road widener to provide shoulder maintenance to more than 850 miles of county roads.
  • Two road patrol vehicles which replace two older vehicles that are deteriorated with high mileage. The vehicles are used to service/repair plows, graders, sander trucks, snow blowers, loaders, and excavators that have broken down in the field.
  • A skid steer loader to help repair flood damage.
  • A truck equipped with a water tank steamer attachment.  This is a replacement for an older, unreliable vehicle and will be used to clear debris from plugged culverts and also thaw frozen culverts in the spring.
  • A quad axle truck to haul away debris and construction materials.
  • A replacement column vehicle lift to repair heavy equipment more efficiently and safely.

Gogebic County will use an $18,000 grant to purchase an administrative vehicle.

Marenisco Township, in Gogebic County, will use a $13,600 grant to purchase a four-wheel drive rescue vehicle. This will be used by first responders reach accident sites and fires in difficult terrain.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office.

USDA Rural Development provides loans and grants to help expand economic opportunities and create jobs in rural areas. This assistance supports infrastructure improvements; business development; housing; community facilities such as schools, public safety and health care; and high-speed internet access in rural areas. For more information, visit www.rd.usda.gov.

Copyright 2020 WLUC. All rights reserved.

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