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Michigan Strategic Fund approves Houghton pier

City Manager Eric Waara presented plans for the Houghton pier to the Michigan Strategic Fund Tuesday morning. The body approved the Michigan Economic Development Corporation grant that will help to reshape the waterfront near the Portage Lake District Library at a total cost of $4,035,010.

The project was originally set to take shape in 2020, but COVID-19 saw funds get redirected for other purposes. When it went out to bid again earlier this year the cost of steel had soared and the price tag was well above original estimates. The MEDC agreed to help with the shortfall with Houghton contributing the remaining $408,550. The total cost for the city will be $1,160,010, twenty-two percent of the overall amount. [Article originally said Houghton’s share was closer to 30 percent rather than 22 percent.]

The Michigan Strategic Fund board includes executives from several high profile corporations like Amazon Web Services, J.P. Morgan Chase, and Whirlpool. It is responsible for overseeing the MEDC’s Michigan Community Revitalization Program loans and grants, among several other functions.

Construction bids are locked in for 90 days. Pending approval from the City Council Wednesday night, a contract will be presented to MJO Contracting and signed within a week to fit in that window. The work will be finished next year.

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