Carney gets transportation grant funding
LANSING — Gov. Gretchen Whitmer announced the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) has awarded two state Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) grants that will support a total of 332 new and existing jobs in Menominee and Genesee counties. The grants will help fund infrastructure improvements related to Performance Corporation’s expansion in the Village of Carney in Menominee County and Fessler & Bowman, Inc.’s new and expanded national headquarters in Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County.
“As we put Michigan back to work, these grants demonstrate the collaborative efforts around economic development and infrastructure we are taking here in Michigan,” said Governor Whitmer. “We will stay laser-focused on creating hundreds of good-paying jobs for Michiganders while ensuring safe roads for drivers, helping us emerge from the pandemic stronger than ever before. Let’s get it done.”
“We are in the process of significantly increasing the output of our manufacturing plant here in Carney. The improvement of Guard Street is an integral part of important infrastructure to support our facility expansion in Carney,” said James W. Brill, chief executive officer, Performance Corp. “It will allow for efficient increased traffic flows which is essential for our project to continue. This will have a profound, positive economic impact to the agricultural industry, providing benefits to the Michigan forestry sector, as well as the whole state of Michigan, further securing Michigan’s agricultural economy. We appreciate the work MDOT has done to assist in insuring Guard Street will be improved to meet our transportation needs. Employees, customers and drivers in the area will all benefit from this collaborative project.”
“The Guard Street project in Carney offers sustainable, year-round support to a primary business in our village, which employs enough full-time people to match 30 percent of our own population,” said Eric Janofski, Carney village president. “This project is a major step forward to support economic development in our village and to promote good faith between village leadership and other future businesses.”
Performance Corp. is a leading wood products manufacturer located in Seymour, Wisconsin. The company manufactures more than 3 million pallets, crates, and boxes each year. Their production facility is supported by their sawmill operation located in the Village of Carney in Menominee County. The sawmill generates more than 20 million board feet of lumber annually and recycles waste product in the forms of firewood, animal bedding, and boiler fuel.
Carney, with its convenient access to raw materials and the state trunkline system, was selected as the site of Performance Corp.’s upcoming expansion. However, the condition of Guard Street, the road upon which the sawmill is located, presented an obstacle to the company’s expansion plans. The road is weight-restricted, which forces the company to reduce their truck loads when frost laws are in effect, thereby increasing their transportation costs. In addition, Guard Street’s pavement is in extremely poor condition and would not be able to withstand the expected increase in heavy truck traffic. The company indicated that without significant road improvements, they would consider expanding at their Wisconsin location instead, which would result in the loss of 52 jobs in Carney.
To assure continued access to the transportation network and enable full truck loads during seasonal weight restrictions, the Village of Carney will rebuild Guard Street from G-18W Road to approximately 3,100 feet north of G-18W Road. These improvements will allow Performance Corp. to continue with their $7.5 million expansion, resulting in the retention of 52 existing jobs in Carney and the creation of 78 new full-time jobs over the next three years. An additional 38 employees will also transfer from Wisconsin to Michigan over this same time period.
The total project cost is $483,992, including $387,194 in Category A funds and $96,798 from the Village of Carney and Performance Corp.