"Making the dredging of our waterways more affordable and feasible is essential to help local communities prepare for tourism season," Price said. "Thanks to this legislation, communities can begin dredging projects immediately without high permit fees, financial strain or long waiting periods."
House Bills 4398 and 4400 will reduce dredging permit fees to $50 for projects that propose to remove 10,000 cubic feet or more, and whose dredge material has been determined to be composed of at least 90 percent sand. Previous permit fees ranged between $1,500 and $2,000.
For emergency situations where dredging is necessary to protect property, public health, safety and welfare of Michigan residents, House Bill 4399 exempts 20-day notification and public hearing requirements, Price said.
Snyder also on Wednesday signed Senate Bills 233 and 252, which provide funding for emergency dredging projects and create an emergency loan program for private marinas to borrow funds for dredging their facilities. They will provide $21 million for 58 emergency harbor dredging projects.
The emergency funds were requested by the governor in his February budget recommendation. Of the $21 million, $11.5 million comes from the general fund and $9.5 million comes from the Michigan State Waterways Fund.
“As the Great Lakes State, we need to ensure the availability of our beautiful waterways to boaters to support tourism, local communities, the state economy and safe boating,” Snyder said. “I thank the Legislature for approving these funds in time for the boating season.”