Senators Stabenow, Peters Announce Support to Help Spur Economic Development in Western Michigan

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

U.S. Senators Debbie Stabenow and Gary Peters today announced two Economic Development Administration grants to help spur economic development in Western Michigan. The West Michigan Shoreline Regional Development Commission will receive a $62,500 to help increase the flow of locally manufactured goods through the Port of Muskegon. The Commission and Michigan State University will receive $111,706 to study the economic benefits of using the Port to recycle and reuse structural debris from around the Great Lakes for other projects in the region.

"One of Muskegon's top priorities is to increase the flow of goods like agricultural products through their Port," Senator Stabenow said. "This support will help the Commission develop the Port and expand shipping opportunities, which will create jobs, boost the local economy and benefit communities and families throughout the region."

"The Great Lakes are a vital economic engine for Michigan, and we must ensure that our port communities have the resources and infrastructure needed to support commerce throughout the region," said Senator Peters, a member of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. "This funding will help boost the Muskegon Port's position as a logistics hub for moving commercial goods as well as repurposed materials that will help improve our neighborhoods, support business development and create new jobs in West Michigan."

This EDA support will help the Commission analyze existing infrastructure around the Port of Muskegon and make recommendations for improvements, which will increase shipping opportunities and diversify and strengthen the regional economy. Making sure the Port can handle additional traffic is critical for Michigan farm communities and local businesses that want to export their products across the region. Additionally, this support will encourage the continued use of the Port to transport structural materials like asphalt, bricks, and cement from blighted properties to be used for other projects in the region.