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House Approves Dredging Funds
“In most cases annual dredging in these West Michigan harbors is the lifeblood of their local economies,” said Hoekstra. “My staff and I worked hard over the past several months to ensure that the federal government provides adequate funding and I am pleased to see that the work paid dividends for these communities.”
The projects were included in the Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act of 2004, which passed the House 387 to 36 and now awaits Senate action before being signed by the president.
Despite dredging needs, Pentwater and Arcadia harbors originally were not scheduled to be dredged in 2004. However, Pentwater would receive $170,000 in the Energy and Water bill for dredging and Arcadia Harbor would receive $80,000.
The bill also includes $100,000 for a feasibility study into an environmental dredging project on Muskegon Lake to address water quality and habitat concerns associated with the historical discharge of pollutants and the presence of contaminants.
In addition, the bill retained $125,000 to fund a feasibility study in Grand Haven to permanently mitigate erosion that has exposed a water main extending from the Northwest Ottawa Water System Treatment Plant underneath the Grand River to the north bank of the Grand River channel. The Army Corps of Engineers temporarily mitigated erosion on the water main last summer.
Proposed funding for operation and maintenance of harbor channels would be: Arcadia, $80,000; Frankfort, $3,112,000; Grand Haven, $810,000; Holland, $618,000; Ludington, $946,000; Manistee, $227,000; Muskegon, $21,000; Pentwater, $170,000; Portage Lake, $1,167,000 and Saugatuck, $1,203,000.