Upton Welcomes News of Essential Funding for St. Joseph Harbor
Representative Fred Upton (R-St. Joseph) made the following statement in response to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ announcement that it has approved $693,000 in funding for dredging and maintenance of the St. Joseph harbor for Fiscal Year 2012. This funding includes the $100,000 that was allocated this past December for emergency dredging. Upton worked closely with the Army Corps, area dock owners, and community leaders to obtain that emergency funding to dredge the St. Joseph harbor, which had become inaccessible to commercial traffic due to severe shoaling.
“This announcement comes as wonderful news to southwest Michigan and local businesses that regularly depend upon our Great Lakes harbors,” said Upton. “This funding is particularly welcomed after the challenges that faced the St. Joseph harbor in December, which required emergency Army Corps assistance to restore the flow of commercial traffic. Michigan communities and businesses deserve the greater long-term certainty provided by this funding, knowing that this major gateway for raw materials, jobs, and growth will remain open. Now that funding has been secured for 2012, our top priority is to pass the RAMP Act to ensure that vital harbor maintenance funding remains available to our local harbors for years to come. We are very appreciative of the Army Corps for their continued efforts to keep our Michigan harbors open and ready for business.”
Upton is a leading cosponsor and strong supporter of the bipartisan Realize America’s Maritime Promise (RAMP) Act (H.R. 104) to ensure that all funding collected through the federal Harbor Maintenance Trust Fund is fully used for the intended purpose of harbor maintenance. Upton is also a signatory of a recent letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) requesting that the RAMP Act be included in the administration’s budget for FY 2013.