U.S. Agriculture Dept. awards $4.2M for Michigan projects

    U.S. Department of Agriculture | Susan J. Demas

    Michigan will receive funds for a mid-Michigan road commission building and street cleaning equipment for an Upper Peninsula city from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA). The funding is through the Community Facilities Direct Loan Program.

    The USDA on Monday announced that Gladwin County will see $4 million for a 20,000-square-foot road commission building. That’s in the 4th Congressional District represented by U.S. Rep. John Moolenaar (R-Midland).

    There’s also $200,000 for a new street sweeper for the city of Iron Mountain that will replace one destroyed by a fire. That’s in the 1st Congressional District represented by U.S. Rep. Jack Bergman (R-Watersmeet).

    U.S. Sens. Debbie Stabenow (D-Lansing) and Gary Peters (D-Bloomfield Twp.) were also noted in the USDA release.

    The USDA announced a total of $50 million in grants in 17 states.

    “Modern and accessible education, health care, public safety and municipal services are foundational to quality of life in any community,” Acting Assistant to the Secretary for Rural Development Joel Baxley said in a news release. “Under the leadership of President Trump and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, USDA is committed to being a strong partner to rural communities to build the facilities in which these essential services are located, and to improve the infrastructure these services rely on to operate in rural America.”

    Susan J. Demas is a 19-year journalism veteran and one of the state’s foremost experts on Michigan politics, appearing on MSNBC, CNN, NPR and WKAR-TV’s “Off the Record.” In addition to serving as Editor-in-Chief, she is the Advance’s chief columnist, writing on women, LGBTQs, the state budget, the economy and more. Most recently, she served as Vice President of Farough & Associates, Michigan’s premier political communications firm. For almost five years, Susan was the Editor and Publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the most-cited political newsletter in the state. Susan’s award-winning political analysis has run in more than 80 national, international and regional media outlets, including the Guardian U.K., NBC News, the New York Times, the Detroit News and MLive. She is the only Michigan journalist to be named to the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Reporters,” the Huffington Post’s list of “Best Political Tweeters” and the Washington Post’s list of “Best Political Bloggers.” Susan was the recipient of a prestigious Knight Foundation fellowship in nonprofits and politics. She served as Deputy Editor for MIRS News and helped launch the Michigan Truth Squad, the Center for Michigan’s fact-checking project. She started her journalism career reporting on the Iowa caucuses for The (Cedar Rapids) Gazette. Susan has hiked over 3,000 solo miles across four continents and climbed more than 60 mountains. She also enjoys dragging her husband and two teenagers along, even if no one else wants to sleep in a tent anymore.


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