GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — Kent County has been denied a state grant that was planned to provide a significant source of funding to purchase Cannonsburg Recreation and Ski Area.

The county plans to apply again for the grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund.

A statement from Kent County Administrator Al Vanderberg says the county submitted a $7.5 million grant request in April 2022 but reduced the amount in the proposal to $5 million in September 2022 because of “preliminary scoring” released by the trust.

On Dec. 14, the county said, it learned its request for money would not be granted. Without that money, it could not go forward with a proposal to buy the ski area in Cannon Township, northeast of Grand Rapids.

“We learned on December 14, 2022, that the MNTRF Board did not recommend the County’s grant application for funding. There were a number of quality applications submitted with attributes of high priority to the MNTRF, including those prioritizing Michigan’s Wildlife Action Plan to conserve the most imperiled or rate species and community types, Critical Dune Areas, frontage on the Great Lakes or their connecting water bodies, and land that is part of a dedicated wilderness, which were ultimately funded.

“We are disappointed but remain committed to working with our Board of Commissioners, the Kent County Parks Foundation, Cannon Township, and the property owner to preserve the resort’s parks, trails, culture, and other services. Kent County will coordinate with the MNRTF to explore ways the proposal can be structured differently to score higher in the 2023 grant process. We will also continue to engage with stakeholders to explore other funding sources.”

Kent County

Cannonsburg told News 8 in March that it was not in financial trouble and had not gotten any offers from the county.