Houghton County secures finalizing flood money

Money is on the way to Houghton County
This is a recording of the TV6 Early News.
Published: Oct. 1, 2021 at 5:56 PM EDT
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HOUGHTON COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - Millions more in flood relief dollars are heading to Houghton County.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a state budget bill on Wednesday, securing the money.

“There’s still a little bit of hurting going on here, and it was nice to see that recognized in the new budget,” said Houghton City Manager Eric Waara.

“So, there’s some additional funds that will be coming Houghton’s way, Houghton County Road Commission’s way, city of Hancock’s way,” added Waara.

The new state budget allotted $2.31 million to the Houghton County Road Commission. The road commission has already put nearly $38 million into projects.

“We had to repair all the damages, so we went ahead and took the loans out,” said Houghton County Road Commission Manager Kevin Harju.

“So we could proceed with repairing everything, so I guess we were hopeful that eventually, this would happen,” he added.

Despite investing its own loan money, the road commission will now have an easier time making sure repairs are finished next summer.

The city of Houghton and the Houghton County Road Commission say they’re focusing on being proactive in repairs.

Anything new or repaired must be able to withstand flash floods in the future to keep water moving in the right places.

Harju says the road commission will continue focusing on road repairs and culvert systems.

Hancock is getting $235,000 and for Houghton, Waara says more studies are needed as to how its $340,200 in relief money will be used.

“We’re going to start identifying some of those things,” said Waara. “And apply these dollars to things that we couldn’t claim with FEMA because FEMA had left months before.”

Waara says a Michigan Homeland Security representative will be visiting next week to certify projects.

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