EAST LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – The Trump Administration announced on Wednesday that the United States Department of Agriculture has provided $11.9 million in loans and grants to assist communities across rural Michigan.

“We are strengthening the medical infrastructure, protecting jobs and jump-starting recovery efforts,” said USDA State Director for Michigan Jason Allen.  “These are transformative investments that will benefit rural Michigan for years to come.”

Many areas of the Upper Peninsula received funds.

The Houghton County Road Commission is receiving five grants totaling $208,174 to help the county recover from the 2018 flood.  Equipment purchased with the funds includes:

  • A hydraulic road widener to provide shoulder maintenance to more than 850 miles of county roads.
  • Two road patrol vehicles which replace two older vehicles that are deteriorated with high mileage. The vehicles are used to service/repair plows, graders, sander trucks, snowblowers, loaders, and excavators that have broken down in the field.
  • A skid steer loader to help repair flood damage.
  • A truck equipped with a water tank steamer attachment.  This is a replacement for an older, unreliable vehicle and will be used to clear debris from plugged culverts and also thaw frozen culverts in the spring.
  • A quad axle truck to haul away debris and construction materials.
  • A replacement column vehicle lift to repair heavy equipment more efficiently and safely.

Thomas Theatre Group, in Dickinson County, will use a $999,900 CARES Act guaranteed loan to provide capital.  The business, which operates three theaters, was closed for eight weeks and has been operating at reduced capacity since re-opening in June.  

Gogebic County will use an $18,000 grant to purchase an administrative vehicle.

Marenisco Township, in Gogebic County, will use a $13,600 grant to purchase a four-wheel drive rescue vehicle. This will be used by first responders reach accident sites and fires in difficult terrain.

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital in Green Bay will use a $996,281 grant to address the problems of rural health professional shortages, particularly opioid and substance use disorder clinicians and behavioral health specialists, lack of patient access to acute hospital (critical and emergency department) and non-acute (outpatient clinic) care. The 13 hub/end user sites will provide emergency and treatment services for opioid/substance use disorders across Delta and Dickinson counties and 10 counties in western and eastern Wisconsin.

To learn more about investment resources for rural areas, interested parties should contact their USDA Rural Development state office.