Marquette County figuring out how to spend federal money

Final decisions about the money are expected to be made in the first half of next year.
This is a recording of the TV6 News Tonight.
Published: Dec. 7, 2021 at 6:50 PM EST
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MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) - Marquette County is figuring out how to spend millions of federal dollars. The money is from the American Rescue Plan, signed into law nearly nine months ago.

Now, Upper Michigan counties are still taking their time to determine how to spend millions of dollars.

On Tuesday, Marquette County staff laid out their first proposal for how to spend the $12.9 million the county will receive.

Among the possibilities, upgrades and repairs for buildings like the courthouse and health department. Money to help police recruitment and expanded broadband internet. Plus, money to fix the backlog in the courts, help improve accessibility to childcare and assist the county’s homeless. Ideas to help affordable housing and renovate the jail were also brought up.

“Great to have an opportunity to consider things that you couldn’t probably do otherwise without this money,” said Gerry Corkin, Marquette County Board of Commissioners Chair. “It is good news for Marquette County.”

While the early plan includes a long list of spending items, the county board will ultimately decide where the money goes.

“A lot of serious decisions have to be made before we pull the trigger on which ones we are going to do,” said Corkin.

No final decisions were made on Tuesday. Corkin expects the board will have work sessions and public comment periods early next year. He says the county will focus on the long-term benefits to residents.

“I’m serious when it comes to spending the county’s tax dollars,” said Corkin. “I treat them like my own. You try to make wise decisions with how you spend it.”

Corkin expects final decisions about the money to be made in the first half of next year.

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