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United States : State transportation economic development grant will support 12 new jobs in Sault Ste. Marie

Jul 12, 2018 (Euclid Infotech Ltd via COMTEX) --

The Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT) is awarding a state transportation economic development grant that will support the creation of 12 new jobs in Sault Ste. Marie. A Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) Category A grant totaling $200,000 will help leverage $13,200,000 in university investment.

The Lake Superior State University (LSSU) Center for Freshwater Research and Education (CFRE) is planning a $13.2 million, 20,000-plus square foot research facility, created in collaboration with the City of Sault Ste. Marie, Cloverland Electric Cooperative, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and other stakeholders. The CFRE will expand educational opportunities and economic development in the eastern Upper Peninsula, incorporating modern research laboratories, a fish health laboratory, a discovery center, and classroom space, as well as an expansion of office space and collaborative research opportunities. In addition, the CFRE, in collaboration with LSSU's Aquatic Research Lab and fish hatchery, will create an educational and tourism resource.

The location for the proposed CFRE, adjacent to the Cloverland Electric Cooperative power-generating facility and the St. Mary's River, will require the city to relocate the existing Salmon Run Way just to the east and construct approximately 900 feet of new roadway. This relocation will provide access to the CFRE while maintaining access to the adjacent Cloverland Electric Cooperative facility and the city's Alford Park.

This development, supporting the continued restoration efforts of the St. Mary's River waterfront with the City of Sault Ste. Marie, including the surrounding Alford Park, will support the creation of 12 new jobs.

"The City of Sault Ste. Marie and MDOT's collaboration in the relocation of Salmon Run Way plays an essential role in the location and construction of the CFRE," said LSSU president Dr. Peter T. Mitchell. "Integral to the location of the CFRE are its close proximity to the hatchery located at the east end of the Cloverland Power Plant, the unobstructed view of the St. Mary's River that also provides opportunity for creating a natural ecosystem, and the capacity to establish a park area between the CFRE and Portage Avenue. Without relocation of Salmon Run Way, these very important aspects of the CFRE would not be possible."

The total project cost is $492,000, including $200,000 in TEDF Category A funding, $220,000 from the City of Sault Ste. Marie, and $72,000 from LSSU.

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.

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