Port of Monroe, Opportunity Center will receive funding through the state budget

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The Port of Monroe and the Arthur Lesow Community Center (ALCC) Opportunity Center in Monroe will receive nearly $13 million in funding as part of the state’s bipartisan fiscal year 2023 budget approved by the Legislative Assembly on Friday. from Michigan.

The port will receive $5 million for fiscal year 2023, which will go toward the construction of a containerized cargo scanning facility. The Opportunity Center is set to receive $7.8 million in funding, which will go towards improving facilities and continuing programming.

The ALCC Opportunity Center in Monroe.
State Representative Joe Bellino

“This funding is critical to an area very important to Michigan’s economy that is in dire need of workers, upgrades and improvements,” State Representative Joe Bellino said in a statement. “…It is extraordinary for me to witness such significant improvements to an area where my family lived when they came to America in 1895. The Port of Monroe plays an important role in Michigan’s economy This much-needed funding will help Monroe continue to hire qualified employees, while upgrading and improving the port for years to come.”

Dale Zorn

“This funding will help support long-term economic growth and provide well-paying jobs for workers in the region – with the added benefit of helping reduce costs for Michigan businesses and consumers with a more efficient port,” added State Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Onsted. . “I was pleased to work with Rep. Bellino and Port Manager Paul LaMarre to lead the discussion in Lansing to secure this key funding to support critical improvements at the Port of Monroe and help them better compete with the ports of other Great Lakes states.

The Port of Monroe, Michigan’s only port on Lake Erie, serves as a major catalyst for Michigan’s multimodal commercial industry. A 2017 report found that 59.2 million tons of cargo moved through Michigan’s waterways, worth $3.23 billion. Economic activity generated by commercial ports amounted to just over $4 million, supporting nearly 26,000 jobs and generating $763 million in federal, state and local tax revenue.

“Michigan’s $5 million investment will pay dividends and allow the port to leverage significant federal investments while ensuring our community is at the epicenter of Michigan’s intermodal transportation network” , LaMarre said. “Rep. Bellino and Sen. Zorn have been relentless in their commitment to the port from dock to deck plates. They have been our champions in the State Legislature for whom we are eternally grateful.

Paul LaMarre III

The Monroe County Opportunity Program has operated the ALCC Opportunity Center for the City of Monroe since 2019. MCOP Executive Director Stephanie Kasprzak praised the partnerships that have continued to fuel the center’s growth.

Stephanie Zorn-Kasprzak

“We are very proud to be a partner in The Center project, continuing our efforts to bring significant investment to the Orchard East neighborhood,” she said. “In partnership, anything is possible and this investment is a true testament to what can be achieved when our community, partners and neighbors all come together.”

“ALCC is a great place for our community to come together,” Bellino said. “It serves as a premier community gathering place, which also offers many experiences and services. The improvements made here will greatly benefit families and future generations.

“This improvement to the Arthur Lesow Community Center is exactly the kind of positive, long-term investment we should be making to benefit Michigan families for years to come, instead of just increasing the size of government,” Zorn added.

Beyond funding two local entities, State Representative TC Clements, R-Temperance said the state budget represents a significant investment in emergency services, infrastructure and education while saving billions of dollars for possible tax breaks.

TC Clements

“Successful communities depend on safety and security,” he said in a statement. “This budget prioritizes emergency services and law enforcement, efforts that will directly benefit my neighbors and the people of Michigan. In addition, our plan reduces the debt to limit the burden on future generations. We have taken concrete steps to improve infrastructure and schools while leaving room for possible tax cuts in the coming months.

“My neighbors want an efficient, streamlined, limited government that works well to serve the people.”

Gretchen Whitmer

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer issued a statement on Friday shortly after the budget was approved, saying she looked forward to signing it into law in the coming weeks, but also urging increased collaboration on budget cuts. taxes and inflation relief as families grapple with rising gas, grocery and everyday prices. expenses.

“I’m so grateful to my colleagues in the Legislative Assembly for working across the aisle with me to pass a balanced, bipartisan budget — the fourth we’ve done together,” Whitmer said. “I will review it and sign it as soon as possible, but I want to draw attention to the work we still have to do to lower taxes and put more money in people’s pockets.

“Michiganians are facing rising prices at the pumps, at the grocery store, and countless everyday expenses right now. We need to come together to deliver real inflation relief to them now. We we can do this because we still have billions of dollars of revenue left on the government’s balance sheet after our budget.

“If we build on our bipartisan collaboration on the budget, we can lower taxes for seniors and working families and put more money in people’s pockets. I outlined my plans to temporarily suspend the state sales tax on gasoline to reduce prices for every driver, reduce the retirement tax to put an average of $1,000 back in the pockets of our seniors, triple a tax credit to provide an average tax refund of $3,000 to 730,000 working families and send $500 inflation relief checks to Michigan residents. Let’s work together this summer on a bipartisan agreement that helps working families in Michigan. »

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