PORTAGE, Mich., Sept. 2, 2021 — On Tuesday, state Rep. Christine Morse (D-Texas Township) held a town hall regarding green infrastructure, water and flooding issues in the community. Morse also took the time to discuss proposed legislation that would create a grant/loan program for local governments to fund water management and infrastructure projects. Grant applicants would be required to match at least 20% of the project cost and have a climate resiliency plan in place. The plan would help communities prepare for climate-change related events.
“The best time to have started planning for climate-related weather events was 50 years ago; the second best time is now,” Morse said. “As events like intense precipitation and heat waves become a regular occurrence in Michigan, our infrastructure must be prepared for the extremes. Really, this is a statewide issue, and if we don’t repair and improve our crumbling infrastructure now, we’re going to lose much more in the long run. Improving our water infrastructure keeps our drinking water clean, safeguards our homes and businesses against flooding, and protects wildlife from having their habitats destroyed. Investing in infrastructure is investing in our state’s future.”
Stormwater and wastewater issues also continue to challenge communities across the state, with many communities still having combined water systems despite the problems they bring. When rainfall exceeds the capacity of these systems, wastewater is discharged into local waters without treatment. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer proposed nearly $40 million to help communities address the “negative impacts of Michigan’s changing climate conditions,” but the state budget has yet to be finalized.
To view a recording of the town hall, you can visit Rep. Morse’s Facebook page.