“This project will create good paying jobs, stimulate local economic growth, and help improve Michigan’s infrastructure,” Granholm said. “Huron Casting is an important area employer, and this expansion will secure its presence in Huron County for years to come.”
Representatives from the MEDC and MDOT presented ceremonial checks to village and county road officials today.
“Having a locally owned company invest $10 million dollars and add 150 jobs to the community is tremendous,” Village President Michael LePage said. “Governor Granholm, the MEDC, and MDOT are to be commended for their swift action in assisting with grant monies to make this project a reality. This is a proud moment for the Village of Pigeon, Winsor Township, and Huron County.”
The 180,000-square-foot steel foundry to be located on Sturm Road just outside the village limits will be owned and operated by Blue Diamond Steel Casting LLC, a fully owned subsidiary of Huron Casting. The Blue Diamond operation will use a new “no bake” molding process that makes much larger castings than those produced at the Huron foundry. It will be able to produce castings up to 2,000 to 3,000 pounds and has several companies in major sectors, including oil field operations and heavy machinery manufacturing, lined up as customers for the larger castings.
“It is gratifying that we are able to assist this manufacturing company in investing and expanding here,” MEDC President and CEO James C. Epolito said. “It demonstrates confidence in its employees and the community that this is the best place to stay and grow into the future.”
"The TEDF is clearly one of our most effective tools for job creation,” State Transportation Director Kirk T. Steudle said. “We are pleased to partner with local governments and industry to invest state transportation dollars where they yield a great return and help major employers expand their operations here in Michigan.”
The CDBG grant will be used for water and sewer improvements to service the new facility. The Village will provide $152,850 to support the project and Huron County will contribute $60,000. Road improvements required to accommodate the additional traffic generated by the new steel plant will be done on portions of Sturm, Weale and Caseville roads. The proposed cost of these transportation improvements is $1.2 million, including $996,367 in state TEDF funding and $249,093 in local match from Winsor Township and the Huron County Road Commission.
The MEDC is able to award approximately $40 million in federal CDBG funds each year. There are 1,655 local governments within the state eligible to apply for these funds. Projects are approved contingent upon compliance with state and federal requirements.
The TEDF “Category A” or “Target Industries Program” provides funding for roadwork and other transportation improvements to encourage private investments in Michigan that will create or retain jobs. Such improvements will help accommodate increased traffic and provide commercial routes that are safe and more efficient for new and expanding companies. A minimum 20 percent in local matching funds is required.
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