State Representative Scott Dianda (D-Calumet) announced today that he is glad Gov. Rick Snyder will appropriate funds from Michigan’s Disaster Contingency Fund to aid U.P. communities struggling with costs following this year’s disastrous winter and subsequent waterline crisis. While the funding is welcomed, Dianda says it is not enough to make U.P. communities whole, and is again urging Republican leaders in Lansing to take up legislation he introduced last April, House Bill 5458.

“Communities throughout Northern Michigan have been struggling for months while Republican leadership in Lansing refuses to take a look at my bill to help them,” said Dianda. “Local municipalities in the U.P. have already done as much as they can to fix the waterline crisis, and I commend them for all their hard work during this difficult time. Now it is up to the Legislature to take action and help make them whole.”

Due to the extreme cold weather this winter and into the spring, local municipalities have been forced to cover numerous unforeseen expenses stemming from the deep frost. Dianda’s bill would designate $10 million in grants to communities in counties that have issued local states of emergency, which would nearly cover the $10.1 million in estimated damages to the region’s infrastructure.

“Safety has been the biggest concern during this time, and that remains to be true now,” said Dianda. “We are creeping into fall, and before we know it winter will be here again. We have to keep our residents safe and make sure they have the infrastructure and funds they need. I am urging Lansing leadership to take this matter seriously, and take my bill up for consideration.”