Cornucopia receives emergency dredging fundsLocal officials had notified the lawmakers that the channel had become dangerously shallow as a result of silt deposit that filled the harbor following the Memorial Day rain storms.
State Senator Bob Jauch (D. Poplar) and State Representative Janet Bewley (D. Ashland) said today that they were pleased to learn that Wisconsin Transportation Secretary Mark Gottleib has approved $50,000 in emergency harbor assistance funds to help pay dredging costs to keep the Cornucopia harbor open.
Local officials had notified the lawmakers that the channel had become dangerously shallow as a result of silt deposit that filled the harbor following the Memorial Day rain storms. They expressed concerns that the low depth of the channel could adversely impact navigation by commercial fishing boats and could eventually impact recreational navigation as well.
The northern lawmakers applauded Transportation officials for their prompt attention and support to Cornucopia’s request. “The officials promptly realized community needs, recognized the urgency of the situation and moved quickly to process and approve the application. The response to provide emergency state funds underscores the importance of a state and local partnership.”
The lawmakers pointed out that local communities lack the financial resources to pay for disaster recovery. Local officials had told them that property tax burden for storm related costs would have been three times the local road maintenance budget. “Compared to the $100 million in economic recovery costs in the Twin Ports, this grant is small but it is essential to the well-being of this small northern community.”
They said that the emergency funding underscores the critical role state and Federal government has in helping communities recover from a natural disaster. “Following a natural disaster it is vitally important for state and federal officials to do everything they can to help an area recover.”
“When a disaster strikes neighbors help neighbors. Following the disaster it is essential for state and federal officials to step up and provide the necessary resources to help the communities rebuild and restore. This emergency grant will help keep the harbor open and accessible as well as provide important assistance to local taxpayers.”
This is the second time the Harbor Assistance Program has provided emergency assistance to a Lake Superior harbor. In 2007, the Town of LaPointe received $104,000 for emergency dredging due to low water levels along Lake Superior. Overall, the program has invested over $22 million in harbor improvements along Lake Superior since 1981.