Portland asks Whitmer to reconsider funds for floods

Ionia County
portland ice jam flooding

A Feb. 6, 2019 photo shows an ice jam on the Grand River in Portland. (Feb. 6, 2019)

PORTLAND, Mich. (WOOD) — The Portland city manager wants Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to reconsider the city’s request for financial help after dealing with massive flooding earlier this year.

Whitmer declared a state of emergency in Portland back in February after ice jams created flooding and damage to public infrastructure.

The city’s request for $100,000 in emergency funding was denied last month after the Emergency Management and Homeland Security Division of the Michigan State Police determined the city didn’t meet the criteria for state aid. 

“They felt that we did not exhaust our local resources which that’s explained in the letter and we think that’s a mischaracterization. In fact, we did exhaust our local resources,” Portland City Manager Tutt Gorman told News 8’s Lansing affiliate.

In response to the denial, Gorman sent a letter to Whitmer this week asking her to reconsider. 

That letter said in part, “… MSP erroneously evaluated the financial burden on the County’s budget, when in reality 95% of the loss was borne by the City of Portland, a community of less than 4,000 residents.”

Gorman previously told News 8 flooding damage costs reached over $200,000 for the city. 

You can read his full letter here.

“This is not an emotional plea. This is a request to simply follow the law,” Gorman said.

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