Natural Resources Trust Fund bill goes to state House

State Sen. John Proos has supported approval of Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund projects for 2018, including six in Southwest Michigan.

The trust fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights, Proos said.

Senate Bill 883 would authorize the trust to use almost $50 million in restricted funds to support 34 acquisition projects and 97 development projects. Matching funds of $45 million would bring the total investment to $95 million.

St. Joseph County would receive funding for two projects. The county would get $166,500 to acquire a 54-acre parcel along the St. Joseph River known as the Kettles Preserve. In the future the land could be developed with trails and canoe and kayak access to the river.

Also, Three Rivers would receive nearly $300,000 from the trust fund for the renovation of a pedestrian bridge in Memory Isle Park, the development of a canoe/kayak launch and an ADA-accessible picnic area, and the conversion of the existing park lights on the island to LED.

SB 883 now heads to the House of Representatives for consideration.

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