EAST LANSING — The towns of Iron Mountain, Norway, Crystal Falls and Iron River are among 12 Upper Peninsula communities that have received rural development grants through the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Michigan USDA Director Brandon Fewins said Thursday.
“These projects represent significant infrastructure investments in public safety and medical care for Upper Peninsula communities,” Fewins said. “It shows how the USDA is working to strengthen rural Michigan.”
The total investment in the Upper Peninsula is $753,500.
Iron Mountain will use a $14,300 grant to purchase a patrol vehicle. The vehicle will be an addition to their current fleet. The police department has an increased need for patrol vehicles for the new code enforcement position in the department.
The $23,200 grant from Norway will also be used to purchase a patrol vehicle. This will replace an older one with high mileage. The grant also includes emergency lighting and safety equipment.
Crystal Falls will use a $27,400 four-wheel-drive patrol vehicle grant to replace a very old, high-mileage vehicle. The grant also includes emergency lighting and safety equipment.
Iron River will use a $100,000 grant to purchase a plow to replace the high-mileage 2001 plow that was barely usable last year.
Other UP grants include:
— Munising Memorial Hospital, in Algiers County, $63,000 for the purchase of a mobile X-ray room. The medical equipment will include a computer interface, treatment software, automatic transfer of patient information and reports.
— Adams Township, Houghton County, $50,000 for the purchase of a fire truck. It is an older one that has outlived its useful life. The new fire truck will be essential in helping the volunteer fire department fight the fires.
— County of Gogebic, $8,400 for the purchase of a new boiler for the heating system, which will replace a 30-year-old model. The boiler is located in the Natural Resources Center, which houses the County Forestry and Parks Division, the Soil Conservation District, and the Michigan State University Extension Office.
— The town of Wakefield, in the county of Gogebic, $242,000 for the purchase of an existing commercial facility in order to relocate its public works department. DPW’s current facilities consist of three separate buildings that are over 100 years old, do not meet current building code requirements, and are undersized for modern equipment, posing a security concern for staff. The new site will allow the city to consolidate all of DPW’s operations into one location that houses critical equipment. The funding includes a standby generator and an elevator to enable in-house vehicle maintenance and repair.
— Houghton County, $70,600 to purchase a pair of patrol vehicles. The Sheriff’s Department has a fleet of 12 vehicles that provide 24-hour highway patrol. The vehicles average 50,000 to 60,000 miles of use per year. The vehicles that will be replaced have over 200,000 miles each.
— The Town of Houghton, County of Houghton, grant of $25,700 for the purchase of a replacement patrol vehicle.
— County of Keweenaw, $18,400 for the purchase of a patrol vehicle. The vehicle will replace an older fleet vehicle with over 200,000 miles and high maintenance costs. Keweenaw County is the least populated county in Michigan and has extensive patrol roads between populated areas of the county.
— The town of Manistique, in Schoolcraft County, $110,500 for the purchase of an ambulance. Manistique Public Safety is a small, full-service facility that provides first response police, fire, and emergency medical services. The Ambulance Division is an Advanced Life Support certified service comprised of paramedics, emergency medical technician specialists and emergency medical technicians who support four ambulances. In addition to responding to 911 emergency calls, the service also performs long-distance patient transfers to major hospitals offering advanced levels of care.
More than 100 types of projects are eligible for community facility funding. Eligible applicants include municipalities, public agencies, non-profit organizations, and federally recognized Native American tribes. Projects must be in rural areas with a population of 20,000 or less. For more information, go to https://www.rd.usda.gov/programs-services/community-facilities/community-facilities-direct-loan-grant-program.