LANSING, MI – The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding a state transportation economic development grant that will support 750 new jobs in Branch County.
The Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant totaling $2,590,699 will leverage $255 million in private investment, at a private/public investment ratio of more than 98-to-1.
Pennsylvania-based Clemens Food Group is an industry leader in the processing of a variety of pork products. Clemens is partnering with a number of family-owned farms in Michigan and Ohio to produce pork. Several sites in both states were considered before deciding to construct a fresh pork harvest facility in Coldwater. Clemens will invest approximately $255 million in new buildings and equipment, and create 750 new jobs.
Clemens’ new facility will be located southeast of the I-69 interchange at Jonesville Road, north of Coldwater. Transportation was a key component in the selection of this site, and MDOT will repave the I-69 ramps at Jonesville Road. Several upgrades and additions to the local road system also are planned to accommodate Clemens’ new facility between Jonesville Road and Newton Road.
Fiske Road will be extended to connect Newton and Jonesville roads, Jonesville Road will be repaved between I-69 and Gorbell Road, Newton Road will be repaved from I-69 to the new Fiske Road extension, and a new dedicated right-turn lane will be constructed from eastbound Jonesville Road to the new southbound Fiske Road to accommodate commercial and employee traffic to the new Clemens facility.
“Planning and building the proper infrastructure is key to ensuring the long-term success of a facility like the one being built,” said Ernie Meily, Clemens Food Group vice president of Community Development. “The new road will ensure the optimal flow of traffic around the area, and provide quick and easy access to the connecting roads. MDOT has been a great partner throughout the planning, and we are excited to be moving into this next phase of the project.”
The overall cost of the project is $3,298,727, using $2,590,699 in TEDF funding. The city of Coldwater is providing $635,572 while the MDOT Southwest Region will invest $72,450.
Enacted in 1987 and reauthorized in 1993, the TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers. TEDF “Category A” or “Targeted Industries Program” grants provide state funding for public roadway improvements that allow road agencies to respond quickly to the transportation needs of expanding companies and eliminate inadequate roadways as an obstacle to private investment and job creation. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities and villages. More information about the program is available online at www.michigan.gov/tedf.