MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – The Iron Ore Heritage Recreation Authority, or IOHRA, is asking voters to renew the millage that funds the operations of the Iron Ore Heritage Trail, or IOHT in Marquette County on the August 2 Primary ballot. This renewal will seek 0.1970 mills for 6 years in the townships of Chocolay, Marquette, Negaunee and Tilden Townships and the cities of Marquette, Negaunee and Ishpeming. Most homeowners pay between $10 and $20 annually for the IOHT. 

“It’s a more equitable way of funding the project,” said Carol Fulsher, the administrator for IOHRA. “And every municipality that’s a part of the Rec. authority has a person on the board that can advocate for their area. So really what we’ve done is we’ve taken our local money that the taxpayers have given us, and we’ve brought in another $2.3 million in the last six years to build and interpret our iconic Iron Ore Heritage Trail.”

Since 2008, the IOHRA has been maintaining the Heritage Trail. They brought in $6 million in Federal, State and private funds to benefit these trails and the community. They have paved bike trails, built restrooms, parking lots, and more. They have also installed benches, bike racks, interpretive and way finding signage, and artwork.  

The millage started in 2010 when the residents of the cities of Marquette, Negaunee and Ishpeming along with the Townships of Chocolay, Marquette, Negaunee and Tilden approved the 0.2 mill, 6-year millage to fund the IOHT. In 2016 and 2017, all eight municipalities renewed the millage again with overwhelming support.

Some of the future plans for the IOHT include a new five-mile, non-motorized trail extension to Lakenenland in Chocolay Township, a metal sculpture art park, more lighting along the Ishpeming/Negaunee connection, and more.

If you want to know more about the future projects, find the IOHT website here.