Proos votes to move Dowagiac River project forward

Senator John Proos

Senator John Proos

LANSING, Mich. — Sen. John Proos on Wednesday voted to support the Natural Resources Trust Fund (NRTF) plan, which features funding to help Cass County develop a new water trail on the Dowagiac River.

The trust fund is supported by interest earned on funds generated from the development of state-owned mineral rights.

“The Natural Resources Trust Fund was created to use constitutionally restricted funds to make Michigan a better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Proos, R-St. Joseph. “Investing in vibrant parks and recreational resources makes our state more attractive to job creators and top talent and enhances outdoor opportunities for Southwest Michigan families and tourists.”

House Bill 5377 authorizes the trust fund to spend $27.96 million to support 26 acquisition projects and 44 development projects. Matching funds of $21.7 million bring the total investment to more than $49.6 million.

The bill specifically provides $277,500 toward the $375,000 project to install new amenities to support the new water trail. The improvements will include an accessible kayak/canoe launch, enlarged parking area and new modern restrooms and camping area with two cabins, picnic grills and fire rings along with accessible pathways.

“By expanding access to exceptional fishing, kayaking and camping, this project will give families and visitors more and better options to enjoy the largest cold water river system in Southwest Michigan,” Proos said.

NRTF dollars are constitutionally restricted to natural resources improvements and land acquisitions across the state.