Berrien County receives grant for waterways improvement project

BERRIEN COUNTY, Mich. – It was revealed on Thursday that Berrien County Community Development and Cornerstone Alliance were awarded a grant worth over $100,000 for the purpose of improving waterways.

The grant is part of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources Waterways Program.

The Waterways Program provides resources for engineering research and infrastructural improvement with nearly 1.75 million dollars set aside for Michigan communities in 2019.

Additionally, the St. Joseph Improvement Association has offered to invest in improving waterways located in Michigan, specifically St. Joseph Arboretum Site.

The St. Joseph Improvement Association was founded in 1955 with the intention of maximizing the economic output and enriching the aesthetic appeal of downtown St. Joseph. They have invested over $700,000 in the downtown St. Joseph over the past 14 years.

Abonmarche Consultants will also assist with technical and design aspects of the project.

In a press release, Chris Frank, Cornerstone Alliance's Vice President of External Affairs, released a statement, saying, "The DNR and SJIA investments would not have been possible without the leadership of Dan Fette from Berrien County Community Development and Mike Morphy and Tom Runkle from Abonmarche. This infrastructure maximizes the use of the area's greatest natural resource in order to improve mobility, placemaking, business growth, and community health. A total of four watercraft access and mooring sites will be constructed along the St. Joseph River. The sites will host bike racks, a kayak launch, and allow for multi-modal transportation along the waterway."

Berrien County’s goal is to have the project complete by the summer of 2020.

Construction is expected to start by Spring of 2020.

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