Continued work by the City of Boyne City has literally paid off with several grants that have recently been awarded to it.
Before sunrise, at around 5:30 a.m. Wednesday morning, Dec. 7, six members of the Boyne community left to appear before the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) Board at their annual grant award deciding meeting in Lansing.
Traveling to Lansing were Boyne City Mayor Tom Neidhamer, city commissioner Hugh Conklin, city manager Michael Cain, Boyne City schools board president Ken Schrader, Boyne chamber of commerce board president Michael Doumanian, and chamber director Ashley Cousens.
They were joined at the meeting by State Senator Wayne Schmidt and Little Traverse Conservancy Executive Director Tom Bailey who joined Mayor Neidhamer in expressing their support of a grant to help purchase the Lake Charlevoix Open Space property located at 475 North Lake Street.
After presentations to the MNRTF Board, it approved a motion making additional income they had received thru the year available to help fund both property acquisition and site development grants.
In doing so the board was able to fund all active property acquisition requests statewide and many more site development projects.
The MNRTF, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary in 2016, is primarily funded by gas and oil lease revenue generated on State of Michigan lands.
Two projects applied for by Boyne City were funded.
Up to $2.4 million dollars was approved to help purchase the Open Space property and another $300,000 was approved to help build the first phase of the Boyne Valley non-motorized Trailway from the Boyne City Airport to Boyne Falls.
Funding for the MNRTF Board’s recommended projects next goes before the State legislature for final approval.
Much additional local work such as providing appraisals and developing more detailed plans for the trails will be taking place well into 2017 in the months ahead.
In addition to those sizable awards, Boyne City received a check for $35,218 for improvements funded by the mParks recreation program at Waterworks and Avalanche Parks.
Some of those improvements, such as a new trail linking the two properties have been fully completed while others will be finalized in the spring.
On Monday of last week, Boyne City was notified that it received a $47,500 grant from the Great Lakes Fishery Trust to help Catt Development develop a new proposed public fishing pier at the west end of the Water Street walkway.
The pier is expected to be constructed in 2017.
In addition the City of Boyne City appears to be in line for an additional $4,000 tree planting grant from DTE Energy.
Paperwork has been submitted and is awaiting final approval.
In a little over two weeks just over up to 2.8 million dollars in grant funds have been received, awarded or pledged to the City of Boyne City.
These five grants have taken months and in some cases years to get to these points and while much work remains to bring them to final completion the efforts to date will bring long term benefits to residents and visitors to the region for years to come.