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Tax Agreement, Tech Park Expansion Key to 300 Jobs

Williams Township Also Awaits Deal with County for DDA, Park Plans

April 10, 2005       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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Bay County appears poised to forge ahead with economic development .

Bay County appears poised to forge ahead with economic development if a series of actions that have been delayed come to fruition soon.

1. Proposed expansion of Valley Technology Park is reportedly dependent upon an agreement between the Monitor Township Downtown Development Authority (DDA), the township and the county. At least 300 jobs are said to be riding on the agreement as an area business eyes land for a regional storage and shipping center.

2. Williams Township officials hope for an agreement to allow a proposed DDA to go forward, opening the door for a new industrial/commercial park. A number of enterprises are said to be hoping to move into Williams Township if infrastructure is provided through DDA financing.

3. The new Bay Future public-private economic development organization is nearing appointment of a chief executive officer. Several highly-qualified candidates have applied and the field is about to be narrowed, sources say.

4. The non-profit Bay County Growth Alliance, a longtime project of former banker and economic development executive Cliff Van Dyke, has a revolving loan fund of about $3 million ready for applications from entrepreneurs who can establish job-producing enterprises.

Mr. Van Dyke, initiator of Valley Center Technology Park that is home to about 20 industries employing nearly 1,000, said the Growth Alliance has an agreement with Bay Future for cooperation on use of the revolving loan fund. The loan fund,established by a government grant in 1976, was built with revenues from the highly-successful Tech Park over the past 30 years.

Several industries have indicated interest in moving to the park or expanding existing operations, according to Mr.Van Dyke. He said the proposed expansion is awaiting an agreement on sharing of "captured" property taxes. A timetable for meetings about the issue has not been released by either county, township or DDA officials.###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
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