MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure Celebrates $1.65 Million in Federal Appropriations for Mid-Michigan

After passing in the U.S. House and Senate last week, the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2022 was signed by President Joe Biden on Tuesday, March 15. The Midland Business Alliance (MBA) Advisory Committee on Infrastructure is celebrating $1.65 million in funding and a significant policy change included, thanks to the committee’s work with local partners and legislators.

“Thanks to our representatives in Washington, D.C. – especially Congressman John Moolenaar and Senator Debbie Stabenow – our specific requests for fiscal year 2022 were included and passed in the final omnibus bill,” said Tony Stamas, President and CEO of the MBA. “These funds will help with mid-Michigan’s rebuilding and restoration after the 2020 flood – and will help build resiliency for the future.”

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Laying the Foundation for Flood Reduction: 2021 in Review

Op-ed by J.W. Fisher and Lee Ann Keller, Co-chairs of the MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure

As co-chairs of the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) Advisory Committee on Infrastructure, we are proud of the progress the task force and community partners made last year. We know there are many years of hard work ahead to meet our goal of reducing the frequency and severity of flooding and increasing mid-Michigan’s resiliency when faced with future flood events. We think that the 2021 efforts started laying a solid foundation for the region’s future success.

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Updates from Dec. 9 MBA Newsletter

The Latest with the Federal Vaccine Mandate

We’ve been keeping you apprised of the news surrounding the Biden administration’s Emergency Temporary Order which primarily impacts businesses employing 100 or more, healthcare employers accepting Medicaid and/or Medicare payments, and businesses that have federal contracts.

A few more speedbumps have popped up over the past few days. First, on Tuesday, a  U.S. District Court judge based in Georgia issued a stay on the vaccine mandate for federal contractors. Unlike a similar ruling by another U.S. District Court judge last week, which applied to Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee, this ruling applies to the entire country.

Originally, federal contractors had a deadline of January 18, 2022 to be fully vaccinated.

In other COVID-19 public policy news, the U.S. Senate voted last night to repeal the Biden administration’s vaccine mandate for larger businesses. Senators used the Congressional Review Act to take the vote. However, the House is very unlikely to take up the issue. Even if it did, it is highly likely that President Biden would simply veto the measure, should it land on his desk. Accordingly, last night’s vote was more or less symbolic in nature.

Implementation of this federal mandate is completely suspended while the issue is taken up by the Sixth U.S. District Court of Appeals.

In November, the MBA joined the Listen to MI Business coalition to officially oppose the mandate. Also in November, we joined in with several dozen Michigan Chambers in requesting that Governor Whitmer provide funding to support businesses’ purchase of testing supplies for their employees who decline to get vaccinated.

Issues & Answers Economic Update

On Thursday, we offered the final Issues and Answers program of 2021 to our membership. Dr. Tim Nash, Director of The McNair Center for the Advancement of Free Enterprise and Entrepreneurship at Northwood University, met virtually with about 40 MBA members, and did an outstanding job of delivering his latest economic update. You can read his latest update here. As you can imagine, the various factors feeding into the economic picture are unique at this point in time: Lingering effects of the pandemic, unusually high federal spending, inflation, a rollback of domestic fuel production, etc. all create a unique economic landscape.

The 2021 series of Issues & Answers programming, which focuses on timely public policy issues, was sponsored by Warner Norcross + Judd LLP.

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Surveying Begins Tuesday on Midland County Rivers

October 29, 2021

River surveying will begin on Tuesday, November 2, to collect the necessary data for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) hydrologic/hydraulic study of the Tittabawassee River Watershed. This study is being sponsored locally by the County of Midland and the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) Advisory Committee on Infrastructure as part of the flood reduction project. Midland Business Alliance - Advisory Committee on Infrastructure

Area residents should be aware that surveying crews will be seen regularly around the rivers in the months ahead.

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Midland County and MBA Move Forward with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Study

September 10, 2021

In August, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) presented its proposed scope, estimated costs and projected timeline for a hydrologic/hydraulic study of the Tittabawassee River Watershed to representatives of the County of Midland and the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) Advisory Committee on Infrastructure. At the Midland County Board of Commissioners meeting on September 7, both the Administration & Operations Committee and the Finance Committee recommended the approval of the agreement between USACE, the MBA Foundation and the County of Midland to begin this study.

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Legislation Update: U.S. House Funding Bills of Interest to Mid-Michigan

August 10, 2021

As the U.S. House of Representatives begins its August recess, several funding bills were passed at the end of July that could benefit mid-Michigan. According to Tony Stamas, President and CEO of the Midland Business Alliance (MBA), some of this funding for fiscal year 2022 could support local projects.

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MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure Connects with Legislators this Summer

August 2, 2021

In the summer months, legislators return home from Washington, D.C., during recesses. The Midland Business Alliance (MBA) Advisory Committee on Infrastructure recognized this as an important time to make contact with federal and state officials. Representatives of the committee have been reaching out with background information, the vision and the scope of flood mitigation and resiliency building in the mid-Michigan area.

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Donors Support MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure and Engineering Study on Flooding

July 6, 2021

Midland area community organizations and businesses have made donations to the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) Advisory Committee on Infrastructure in order to support an engineering study on flooding in the Tittabawassee River Watershed, as well as advocacy and communication efforts. The committee co-chairs, J.W. Fisher and Lee Ann Keller, shared the list of initial donors:

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Three Legs to the Work of Reducing the Severity and Frequency of River Flooding

Op-ed by J.W. Fisher
Co-chair of MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure
July 2, 2021

J.W. FisherAs co-chair of the Midland Business Alliance Advisory Committee on Infrastructure, I would like to let the community know about why the committee exists, what problems we are working on, and the approach we are taking to address them. In January of this year, the Midland Business Alliance created our committee and gave it a broad mandate to examine all infrastructure issues that may impact the economic vitality and quality of life of the Midland area. The committee’s first task is to examine the feasibility of lessening the severity and frequency of river flooding in the Tittabawassee River drainage area, as well as to support the City of Midland’s efforts to improve its storm and sanitary sewer system.

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MBA Provides Testimony on Flooding Issues to U.S. House Subcommittee

June 22, 2021

In early June, Tony Stamas submitted written testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies. Stamas was representing the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) as its President and CEO and wrote on behalf of the businesses and citizens of Midland County and the Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR).

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For Many of Us, Flooding Is Personal

Op-ed by Lee Ann Keller, co-chair of MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure
June 4, 2021

Lee KellerSix years ago, shortly after a major remodel, our basement flooded because of a downpour and a drainage tile issue. Most everything was destroyed. Never would I have imagined having to wade through water again a year later after torrential downpours and a countywide flood destroyed our downstairs once again. As if that was not enough, another year later the dams broke.

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Midland Business Alliance president provides testimony to U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee on GLBR flooding issues

May 17, 2021

Midland, Michigan – In early May, Tony Stamas submitted written testimony to the U.S. House Committee on Appropriations Subcommittee on Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies. Stamas was representing the Midland Business Alliance (MBA) as its President and CEO and wrote on behalf of the businesses and citizens of Midland County and the Great Lakes Bay Region (GLBR).

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Op-ed by Bill Schuette, Community volunteer with the MBA Advisory Committee on Infrastructure

May 20, 2021

Bill Schuette1 Year Later: How do you spell Midland? Determined-Rebuild-Grit-Michigan’s Comeback Town

One year ago, the rains came. Dams were breached. Waters raged. Homes, businesses, schools, health care systems were flooded. Bridges collapsed and roads were washed out. And this on top of COVID.

Many communities would have given up or choose simply to endure the “Flood Fog and Covid Blues”. And do nothing.

Not Midland. Nope.

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