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Federal grant money will help build a better tug boat


Thick black smoke may not trail a 1930s tugboat anymore after it receives a federal grant.

$165,372 has been awarded to the Luedtke Engineering Company to fund a cleaner engine replacement for the Kurt R. Luedtke tugboat.

The upgrade was badly needed, said Judy Palnau, a spokesperson for the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy.

“The emissions were so bad, the black smoke that was spewing from it actually caught the attention of the coast guard who thought it was in trouble--a vessel in distress,” she said.

The tugboat was built in the 1930s, Palnau said. The new engine will dramatically decrease emissions.

Grant funding was also awarded to Timber Products to replace a forklift that operates near Picture Rock, and school buses in Livonia, Hopkins, and Allegan will receive cleaner engine replacements.

You can read more about the grant here. (,9429,7-135-3308_3323-566334--,00.html)