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Frank A. Douglass Insurance Agency

State transportation economic development grant will support 31 new jobs in Keweenaw County

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding a state transportation economic development grant that will support the creation of 31 new jobs in Keweenaw County. A Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant for $136,911 will leverage $1.58 million in private investment, at a private/public ratio of better than 11-to-1.

Neuvokas Corp. is a manufacturer of a basalt fiber reinforced polymer rebar, trademarked as GatorBar, which is used in the concrete construction industry. The company needed a larger facility in order to expand its operations. Other locations were considered, including in Wisconsin, before the company purchased a vacant building in Allouez Township, adjacent to No. 6 Road.

Company representatives said that they needed year-round all-season road access to receive raw materials and ship out finished product. No. 6 Road, which connects the company’s facility to US-41/M-26, is not currently an all-season route, limiting the company’s ability to ship efficiently year-round. To address this issue and ensure year-round access for the facility, Keweenaw County Road Commission will resurface No. 6 road to bring it up to all-season standards, along with adding shoulder and drainage improvements. The improvements will allow Neuvokas to create 31 jobs and invest $1.58 million in new equipment.

Total estimated cost for this project is $171,139, including $136,911 in state TEDF funds and $34,228 from the Keweenaw County Road Commission.

Enacted in 1987 and reauthorized in 1993, the TEDF helps finance highway, road and street projects that encourage private investment in Michigan resulting in job creation or retention. TEDF “Category A” or “Targeted Industries Program” grants provide state funding for transportation improvements that will help accommodate increased traffic and provide commercial routes that are safer and more efficient for new and expanding companies. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities and villages. More information about the program is available online at www.michigan.gov/tedf.

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