Port of Monroe, Opportunity Center to receive funding as part of state budget

MONROE, MI – The Port of Monroe, and the Opportunity Center at Arthur Lesow Community Center (ALCC) in Monroe will receive nearly $13 million in funding as part of the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2023 state budget approved Friday by the Michigan Legislature.

The port will receive $5 million for fiscal year 2023, which will go towards construction of a containerized cargo scanning facility. The Opportunity Center is slated to receive $7.8 million in funding, which will go towards facility improvements and continued programming.

“This funding is crucial to an area very significant to Michigan’s economy that is in great need of workers, improvements and enhancements,” State Rep. Joe Bellino said in a statement. “…It’s extraordinary for me to witness such significant enhancements to an area where my family lived when they first came to America in 1895. The Port of Monroe plays a significant role in Michigan’s economy. This much-needed funding will help Monroe continue to hire skilled employees, while improving and enhancing the port for years to come.”

“This funding will help support long-term economic growth and provide high-wage jobs for area workers — with the benefit of helping reduce costs for Michigan businesses and consumers with a more efficient port,” added State Sen. Dale Zorn, R-Onsted. “I was happy to work with Rep. Bellino and Port Director Paul LaMarre to lead the discussion in Lansing to secure this key funding to support critical improvements at the Port of Monroe and help them better compete with ports in other Great Lakes states.”

The Port of Monroe, Michigan’s only port on Lake Erie, serves as a major catalyst for Michigan’s multimodal trading industry. A 2017 report found that $59.2 million tons of goods were transported through Michigan’s waterways, valued at $3.23 billion. The economic activity produced by commercial ports amounted to just over $4 million, backing nearly 26,000 jobs and raising $763 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue.

“The state of Michigan’s investment of $5 million will pay dividends and allow the port to leverage significant federal investment while ensuring that our community is at the epicenter of Michigan’s intermodal transportation network,” LaMarre said. “Rep. Bellino and Sen. Zorn have been unrelenting in their commitment to the port, from the dock to the deck plates. They have been our champions in the state Legislature for which we are eternally grateful.”

Monroe Evening News

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