McDonald Rivet EGLE funding amendment clears key budget hurdle, draws praise from Midland Business Alliance, Advisory Committee on Infrastructure
LANSING, Mich. (April 26, 2023) — Sen. Kristen McDonald Rivet (D-Bay City) secured $50 million for flood reduction infrastructure in Midland in the recommended budget for the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE). The Senate Appropriations Committee passed that proposed budget this afternoon, moving it forward for negotiations with the full Senate, House and Governor’s office.
“Too many Midland residents have experienced the effects of flooding. Unfortunately, over the years, we’ve seen an increase in the severity of these floods, jeopardizing homes, businesses, and even our hospital systems,” said Sen. McDonald Rivet. “We took the first step in the Senate Appropriations Committee today by passing my amendment to dedicate $50 million over the next two years to partner with the City to fund this work.”
Since 2021, the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) Advisory Committee on Infrastructure (ACOI) has been working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on in-depth studies and flood prevention plans for the highest risk areas in Midland. In early March, Sen. McDonald Rivet toured the proposed Midland Flood Reduction Plan areas and received briefings from the MBA ACOI.
“Senator McDonald Rivet actively listened to our plans and advocated for us in Lansing. We were happy to see that her amendment to EGLE’s budget was approved and included in what the Senate Appropriations Committee passed today,” said Lee Ann Keller, co-chair of the Midland Business Alliance Advisory Committee on Infrastructure. “That flood resiliency funding stands to be a major help for Midland County and our region to move ahead with projects that will have big impacts on our businesses and homes.”
“We appreciate the Senator’s work to help us make these resiliency plans a reality,” said J.W. Fisher, co-chair of the MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure. “These are important steps toward making a real difference in flood reduction, and we are grateful for her continued understanding and support.”
According to Tony Stamas, Midland Business Alliance’s President & Chief Executive Officer, their Advisory Committee on Infrastructure has already taken flood study findings to develop an action plan to protect a large segment of the City of Midland from increasingly chronic flood waters.
“We are so pleased Senator Kristen McDonald Rivet is championing efforts to establish flood reduction and resiliency measures in Midland,” said Stamas. “The appropriation she secured in EGLE’s proposed budget is a critical step toward ensuring the funding we need to protect Midland homes, businesses, and critical institutions like the MyMichigan Health Campus.”
Longstanding flooding has negatively impacted the citizens, business community and economic development in Michigan’s Great Lakes Bay Region for decades. FEMA’s April 2022 Response Analysis and Midland Daily News coverage from June 2020 detail how flooding has forced Midland’s hospital to close and scale back multiple operations.
The joint effort between local leaders and the Army Corps of Engineers is bringing forward feasible, environmentally conscious options to stop this costly flooding. “I am thrilled to lead on this as it works its way through the legislative process,” said Sen. McDonald Rivet.