Boardman River Dams Project Funds Help Grand Traverse County and Traverse City Budget

A possible change in funding for a Grand Traverse County project may lift a heavy weight off of the county and Traverse City’s budget.

The Boardman River Dams Ecosystem Restoration Project is a four-phase project focusing on removing Boardman, Brownfield and Sabin dam and modifying Union dam to improve the river’s water quality.

“It’s always good news to have funds dedicated to the project.”

The Boardman River Dams Project is only halfway done. Right now they have a grant that requires a half a million dollar match split between the city and county, $250,000 each, an expensive match for both.

Tom Menzel, county administrator says, “The deputy administrator, she said it’s environmentally based, Brownfield is environmentally focused, let’s see if we can use Brownfield funds and it’s using tax dollars which brownfield funds are to fund the public project.”

An idea approved by the Brownfield Redevelopment Authority during their last meeting.

The authority’s director, Jene Derenzy says, “The Brownfield Authority is really replacing the city and the county’s and general fund dollars so it’s dollars that the Brownfield Authority has and had worked with the city and county to utilize the Brownfield funds instead.”

A move benefiting everyone involved.

Menzel says, “It allows us to reinvest money back into this business, which is the county, in terms of some critical areas that haven’t been addressed for many many years. We’re looking to put some of this possible money into the upgrading of our technology.”

The project’s implementation team chair Frank Dituri says, “I think it’s great anytime there’s any funds to come to this project, many people on the project team including the county and the city look for innovative ways to fund the project.”

The grant still needs to be approved by Garfield Township and county commissioners to become final.