Budget has $1M for ski jump work on Pine Mountain

(Genevieve McIntyre Angeloff photo)

A budget deal Michigan lawmakers approved Thursday contains many key investments for the Upper Peninsula, including $1 million in debt relief for the Pine Mountain ski jump, said state Sen. Ed McBroom, R-Waucedah Township.

The Pine Mountain aid will help the non-profit Kiwanis Ski Club pay down a $3 million loan secured in 2020 through the Great Lake Sports Commission. The money was used for safety renovations at the historic slide, keeping it in compliance with international standards for ski jumping.

In all, the state budget includes $334 million in legislative earmarks to fund specific projects in lawmaker districts, Bridge Michigan reported.

McBroom, in a news release, identified allocations specific to the Upper Peninsula —

— $1.2 million to the Ironwood hospital to assist with OB-GYN services;

— $2 million to Munising hospital for numerous updates;

— $1 million for debt assistance for the Marquette Regional History Center;

— $1 million for County Road 573;

— $1 million in debt relief for Pine Mountain Ski Jump at Veterans Park in Iron Mountain;

— $800,000 for continuation of the state’s “cold case” investigation and training program at Northern Michigan University;

— $500,000 for the Gladstone Senior Center; and

— $400,000 for track replacement at the Stephenson Sports Complex.

Additionally, disaster relief funds were appropriated to Marquette and Baraga counties to assist with flood damages not covered by federal funds, McBroom said.

“This budget is the culmination of months of work and negotiations,” the senator said. “While I remain disappointed by the (Democratic) majority’s prioritizing of programs, the budget process was open to numerous efforts I made for the U.P. and to bring more transparency, reduction of debt and increased accountability to state bureaucracy. Additionally, the critical funding for the delivery of babies in the western U.P. after the loss of Ontonagon hospital and the improvements to Munising’s hospital are incredibly important for the U.P. people and economy.”

Larger projects for Lower Michigan communities identified by Bridge Michigan included $10 million for Potter Park Zoo in Lansing; $7 million for the Detroit Zoo; $10 million for a youth sports complex in Frankenmuth; and $2 million for a boxing gym in Detroit.

“While being in the minority has reduced the level of support the U.P. has received the last two years, I am proud the U.P. team has been able to get support from my colleagues on several very critical hospital and infrastructure needs,” McBroom said. “Budget negotiations have also leveraged significant support for the infrastructure grants for Gogebic County, to be matched by Highland Copper, in the construction of an already permitted, new copper mine. The House has already approved this $50 million, and we expect the Senate to act soon,” he said.


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