With the state legislature wrapping up its budget season, the Midland Business Alliance’s Infrastructure Advisory Board has begun setting priorities and developing a plan for when it will receive funding for the next fiscal year beginning October 1. The Advisory Board’s main goal is to reduce the frequency and severity of flooding in and around the Midlands.
So far, Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) has secured $25 million for flood protection infrastructure in the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy budget passed by the Senate Appropriations Committee on April 26, and hopes to raise another $25 million. That objective is included in the 2024-25 budget. However, Rep. Bill G. Chouett (Republican, Midland) proposed to allocate $117 million to the city in the EGLE budget for flood protection infrastructure. The House Appropriations Committee rejected by the board this proposal.
The MBA Advisory Board on Infrastructure won’t know how much funding Midland will receive for flood prevention infrastructure until early June, when the state budget is finalized and signed by the governor. The commission has drawn up a list of immediate priorities, but said it is also planning different scenarios based on when and how much money the city can receive.
Commission co-chair Lee Ann Keller said the $25 million Midland could earn in the upcoming budget would kickstart the engineering and design project. Co-Chair JW Fisher stressed the importance of being proactive, as the process from receipt of funds to fully completed infrastructure takes about three and a half years. By starting early and planning ahead, the committee saves time and speeds up the process.
The Commission’s current flood mitigation plan, prepared by Spicer Group, has a budget of $117 million, including $73 million for flood prevention at Sturgeon Creek and $73 million for Snake Creek. $34 million for flood prevention and $10 million to support neighboring communities.
“This seems big,” admitted committee member Bill Shuett. “But Midlands has always been a place where big ideas, big dreams and big achievements are made, so it is in our wheelhouse.”
Founded in 2021 to find the best way to work with local, state and federal partners, the committee has focused on projects both large and small. They raised $16.4 million for a variety of projects, including stormwater/sewer improvements in the City of Midland, the Midland Boiler Plant and Flood Recovery Project at the My Michigan Medical Center, and the Sylvan Pumping Station. The funding also includes a second study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Rep. Dan Kildee (D-Michigan) wrote to the Appropriations Committee that the second survey, which is expected to last three years, will explore “potential solutions to reduce the frequency and severity of flooding.” and its feasibility. Earlier this year, Mr. Kildee requested a $500,000 grant to the Corps of Engineers to conduct a comprehensive research study, and President Joe Biden included the money in this year’s federal budget.
Fischer said the Corps of Engineers needs to complete both surveys before Midland completes infrastructure work. Once research is complete, Midland City Council will decide which projects to complete.
“Even if there were no dam breaches in 2020, we would still have the same kind of flooding[asin19862014and2017],” said Bill Chouett. “We’re talking about 600 families and 50 businesses…there’s a public health crisis here because they endangered people in hospitals in 2020. Public Health and MyMichigan We cannot ignore it if it is affecting the system of the We will be reporting on progress and answering questions from the community at an open house at the Dow Diamond in.
The Midland Business Alliance’s Infrastructure Advisory Board is working hard to reduce the frequency and severity of flooding in the Midlands. The board is waiting to find out how much funding Midland will receive for the upcoming budget, but they have already drawn up a list of priorities and planned for different scenarios. The committee has focused on projects large and small, and they raised $16.4 million for a variety of projects. The commission understands the importance of being proactive, as the process from receipt of funds to completed infrastructure takes about three and a half years.