By Tony Wittkowski | Local Government Reporter | The Times Herald
ST. CLAIR – The Department of Environmental Quality announced the recipients of $2.8 million in grants Wednesday that would go toward rubber-modified asphalt projects.
The city of St. Clair was one of 21 recipients and will get $70,000 for its efforts.
Mayor Bill Cedar said the plan is to use the funding to repair Hawthorne Road, South Ninth and Orchard streets.
“Just like everyone else we have road issues,” Cedar said. “Anytime we can pick up some monetary help is great news.”
The DEQ grant is a reimbursement grant, which will cover costs for what is paid on the rubber-modified asphalt projects.
Cedar said there is not an exact date for the projects, but said the city hopes to begin this summer.
“We wanted to address one street in each ward,” Cedar said. “They take these scrap tires, grind them up and use them to patch road surfaces.”
The grant covers road projects that use rubber-modified asphalt in construction and repairs to improve existing Michigan roadways.
They are also awarded to research projects that find new ways to incorporate scrap tire rubber into asphalt and concrete, and equipment projects that find new ways to create commodities from scrap tires.
Michael Marshall, scrap tire program coordinator for the DEQ, said St. Clair was chosen because of the project’s size.
“St. Clair has never received a grant from us and we had a bunch of grantees that had gotten at least one before,” Marshall said. “A lot of grantees were asking for money to cover half a million dollar projects. We tried to help smaller projects so we could award more.”
According to Marshall, the scrap tire grant program has been around since 1992.
“Every year we issue cleanup grants and then whatever is left over out of the appropriation we hand out for these developments,” he said.
Cedar said the idea to apply came when a resident sent him an article about it.
The mayor said he met with Superintendent Mike Booth to discuss which roads could be included in the project.
“If this works out and the process is compatible with what we are doing, we are going to be looking for more grants like this,” Cedar said. “With the way roads are we have to be on that.”
(Author’s Note: This article was originally published on May 8, 2015)