The City of Monroe’s harbor will be undergoing major improvements and alterations in an effort to transform it into a leading cargo transportation center on the Great Lakes. The harbor is a critical economic resource, though many people probably don’t even know about it.

Located on the western edge of Lake Erie, the port provides direct access to all five of the Great Lakes and serves 17 states.

Funding for the project has been provided by the Michigan Strategic Fund, which approved up to $3 million in repayable funds from the MSF Investment Fund.

“These improvements will transform the Port of Monroe into a center of economic activity and a premier general cargo handling facility on the Great Lakes,” Michigan Economic Development Corporation Chief Executive Officer Steve Arwood. “The project will promote further growth and investment in the Port and the region, and will lead to new jobs for Michigan residents.”

The project will expand trade routes and cargo opportunities, and it also calls for dredging the River Raisin among other improvements to increase the port’s accessibility.

The City of Monroe Brownfield Redevelopment Authority also submitted an Act 381 Brownfield Work Plan for the approval of $3,643,225 in local and school tax capture for Brownfield activities related to the project. The money from the tax capture will be used to repay the Investment Fund within eight years.

“The Port of Monroe’s recent cargo growth is proof positive that Michigan’s ports play a vital role in the State’s economic viability,” said Port of Monroe Director Paul C. LaMarre III. “This project will provide for foundational infrastructure that will ensure the Port of Monroe’s continued growth and sustainability for years to come. The Port and community are humbly appreciative for the support of Governor Snyder and his team, Steve Arwood and the MEDC, as well as the Michigan Strategic Fund Board itself.”

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