Sen. Zorn, Rep. Bellino secure significant funding for Monroe

LANSING, Mich. Sen. Dale Zorn and Rep. Joe Bellino announced the Port of Monroe and the Arthur Lesow Community Center (ALCC) in Monroe will receive nearly $13 million in funding as part of the final state budget approved Friday by the Legislature.

“This funding will help support long-term economic growth and provide high-wage jobs for area workers — with the benefit of helping reduce costs for Michigan businesses and consumers with a more efficient port,” said Zorn. R-Onsted. “I was happy to work with Rep. Bellino and Port Director Paul LaMarre to lead the discussion in Lansing to secure this key funding to support critical improvements at the Port of Monroe and help them better compete with ports in other Great Lakes states.”

“The Port of Monroe is slated to receive $5 million for fiscal year 2023,” said Bellino, R-Monroe. “This funding is crucial to an area very significant to Michigan’s economy that is in great need of workers, improvements and enhancements.”

The Port of Monroe, Michigan’s only port on Lake Erie, serves as a major catalyst for Michigan’s multimodal trading industry. A 2017 report found that 59.2 million tons of goods were transported through Michigan’s waterways, valued at $3.23 billion. The economic activity produced by commercial ports amounted to just over $4 million, backing nearly 26,000 jobs and raising $763 million in federal, state, and local tax revenue.

“The state of Michigan’s investment of $5 million will pay dividends and allow the port to leverage significant federal investment while ensuring that our community is at the epicenter of Michigan’s intermodal transportation network,” said Paul C. LaMarre III, director of the Port of Monroe. “Rep. Bellino and Sen. Zorn have been unrelenting in their commitment to the port, from the dock to the deck plates. They have been our champions in the state Legislature for which we are eternally grateful.”

“It’s extraordinary for me to witness such significant enhancements to an area that my family has lived in since coming to America in 1895,” Bellino said. “The Port of Monroe plays a significant role in Michigan’s economy. This much-needed funding will help Monroe continue to hire skilled employees, while improving and enhancing the port for years to come.”

The Arthur Lesow Community Center is slated to receive $7.8 million in funding.

“The ALCC is a great place for our community to gather as one,” Bellino said. “It serves as a prime communal gathering spot that also provides many experiences and services. The improvements made here will greatly benefit families and future generations.”

“This enhancement of the Arthur Lesow Community Center is exactly the type of positive, long-term investment that we should be making to benefit Michigan families for years to come, instead of just increasing the size of government,” Zorn said.