Bay City, Saginaw Among State Communities to Receive $161 Million Grant
Two-Day Auto Summit Focused on 'Revitalizing Detroit,' GM Auto Communities
Bay City and Saginaw (Michigan) are in line to receive grant money to redevelop former auto plants.
Bay City and Saginaw are two of the state's auto communities targeted by a $161 million General Motors grant to redevelop former auto plants.
A two-day Auto Summit in Washington, D.C. was highlighted by the announcement Tuesday of the grant that is intended to relieve local communities of the burden of environmental cleanup of closed manufacturing plants.
Grant money will come from a trust fund created by Motors Liquidation, the firm created to oversee the rebuilding of GM.
"Even as we work to finalize the trust agreement, we are extremely pleased the Obama administration is providing tools to help our local communities transform these iconic properties for the new economy," Gov. Jennifer Granholm said.
"This will indeed help turbo-charge our own Project Phoenix program to revitalize communities by reusing idled manufacturing plants."
Of the 90 sites covered by the plan, 47 are in Michigan. Affected communities include Bay City, Burton, Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Lansing Twp., Livonia, Mt. Morris, Pontiac, Romulus, Saginaw, Van Buren Twp., Wyoming and Ypsilanti.
The framework will allocate $536 million for the cleanup of the properties and approximately $300 million to assist the states and communities in dealing with property taxes, demolition costs, plant security costs, and other expenses.
Michigan's Project Phoenix program (http://www.michiganadvantage.org/Project-Phoenix/Default.aspx), introduced by the governor in her State of the State address last February, brings the state, current and former property owners, businesses, communities, developers and other parties together to inventory and promote for reuse former manufacturing sites. The program includes buildings of 500,000 square feet or more and land sites of 80 acres or more where former manufacturing facilities already have been demolished.
"If companies are looking to expand or relocate, these properties will be available much sooner than we had anticipated," MEDC President and CEO Greg Main said. "This is a great day and a new beginning for Michigan. We are especially grateful for the efforts of the Departments of Treasury and Justice, the EPA, and Dr. Ed Montgomery, director of the White House Council on Automotive Communities and Workers."
U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) was among speakers on a panel focused on revitalizing Detroit.
The panel titled "Reinventing Detroit- Broad Vision and Partnerships to Transform the Motor City" was part of a two-day summit focused on revitalizing America's auto communities hosted by the White House and the Brookings Institution.
"The best way to revitalize auto communities is to create jobs in our communities- and that is what is beginning to happen in Detroit," said the senator.
"Thanks to public and private partnerships, Michigan companies have been able to take advantage of manufacturing tax credits, retooling loans, and battery funding- incentives which I authored to grow their companies and put people back to work.
"Companies like W. Industries and GE are creating new jobs in the Detroit area while General Motors, Ford and Chrysler are making major investments as well.
"We still face many challenges, but I am committed to working with Mayor Bing, Michigan leaders, and the Administration to revitalize Detroit."
Senator Stabenow applauded the announcement of funding to help redevelop closed General Motors sites.
"The money announced today removes the burden from state and local governments so they do not have to pay for environmental cleanup of empty manufacturing plants."
"I am pleased that Michigan will be receiving $161 million in much needed assistance to cleanup sites and make sure they are ready for redevelopment, creating jobs and revitalizing communities," said Sen. Stabenow.
"When these sites were shut down, they left communities with sites ripe for redevelopment, but also put those communities on the hook to deal with issues contamination, demolition costs, and aging infrastructure.
"Michigan will get more money than any other state, putting people in our communities to work and paving the way for bright new future for these sites."
Local News Article 4911
Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at email@example.com)
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