Construction of a nearly five-mile, two-lane US-131 bypass of Constantine – a project that began on February 4th – continues to move forward with a target of completion in November 2013.
The project – with an $18 million price tag – includes a new, 870-foot bridge over the St. Joseph River near Riverside Drive, on the southwest side of the village.
In a Tuesday morning (June 18) update, Nick Schirripa of the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) Office of Communications, said, “Crews are setting the bridge beams on spans, 1, 2 and 3. The guys still are building piers 4 and 5 along with continuing pile driving on abutment B. The numbers and letters don’t mean a lot to you and I, but it’s how the crews map the bridge work. The road is still being built as before.”
Officials from a folding-carton company announced last week plans to expand operations at its Sturgis plant.
Americraft Carton Inc. will be adding a new printing press to its South Street facility, company officials said. The 25,000-square-foot addition will house the high-speed, wide-format printing press
The company, which has 110 employees, has already seen facility expansions in 2000 and again in 2008.
The latest project is slated to be completed in December.
State Rep. Matt Lori on Thursday announced an Indiana manufacturer will move its operations to White Pigeon, resulting in a $1.1 million investment and an estimated 46 new jobs in the village.
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation approved a $200,000 performance-based grant to bring Merhow Industries to a vacant facility in White Pigeon. The company, which outgrew its factory in Indiana, manufactures luxury horse trailers equipped with living quarters.
Lori called the move fantastic news for the residents of White Pigeon and St. Joseph County. He said leadership in the Legislature has made it a priority to get Michigan working and the development will help put nearly 50 people to work once the company settles in.
The Michigan site was chosen over a competing location in Indiana, according to the MEDC. The village is offering a 12-year property tax abatement to Merhow Industries in addition to the state grant.
The Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development’s Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program is recognizing Sturgis-based Girton Farm as a verified farm in the Cropping System for implementing appropriate pollution prevention practices.
The program assists farmers to comply with state and federal environmental regulations and with Right-to-Farm practices. Technical assistance was provided by the Branch Conservation District.
MAEAP is a collaborative effort of farmers, MDARD, Michigan Farm Bureau, commodity organizations, universities, conservation districts, conservation and environmental groups and state and federal agencies. More than 100 local coordinators and technical service providers are available to assist farmers as they move through the MAEAP process toward verification.
To become MAEAP verified, farmers must complete three comprehensive steps which include attending an educational seminar, conducting a thorough on-farm risk assessment, and developing and implementing an action plan addressing potential environmental risks.
A guided tour of the City of Three Rivers Wastewater Treatment Plant (WWTP) early Tuesday evening (June 11) provided an opportunity to view the current operation of the facility and learn about the items completed during a $4.1 million plant improvement project.
Elected officials, community members, and local industrial customers were invited to attend the ‘project completion presentation and guided plant tour’ at the facility on Wolf Road at the south edge of the city.
In welcoming approximately 25 people who gathered for the event, WWTP Superintendent James Baker said, “My main goal tonight is to let everybody see the plant, see the progress that we’ve made with the construction project.” He said the project was bid out in June of 2011 and completed in March of this year – ahead of the July 2013 deadline required by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Visitors had an opportunity to view a display showing project highlights, review a binder of photos from the project, look over plans for the work, and pick up literature provided by L.D. Dosca Associates, Inc. of Kalamazoo, the general contractor. Baker then led the tour that provided attendees to see and hear about various aspects of the facility and the improvements that were put in place through the project.
Baker indicated the project included odor control components and said, “For the most part, we doubled our odor control capacity.” And he said, “We’re pretty confident that most of the odors – if not all of the odors – have been resolved.”
Baker described the improvements as “a great project,” noted that – in addition to being completed ahead of schedule – it came in under budget, and indicated the project went smoothly.
The plant improvements were designed by Jones & Henry Engineers, Ltd.
The WWTP has a capacity of 5 million gallons per day and operates at around 1.6 million gallons per day.
The Park Township Board has approved an Industrial Facilities Tax Exemption Certificate sought by American Metal Fab for personal property in the amount of $768,175. The 12-year tax abatement for replacement equipment and new equipment will enable the company to retain its 58 employees and, hopefully, add to its workforce in the future. Action on the matter came during the board’s June meeting Wednesday evening (June 11).
The board also approved the township’s proposed budget for 2013-2014, a spending plan that projects total revenues for the year of $415,000. Anticipated expenses are just under $403,000.
The budget includes a $50,000 payment to Lockport Township in August as the final installment of Park Township’s share in the buyout of Lockport’s ownership in the former Lockport-Fabius-Park (LFP) Fire Department.