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Area agribusinesses prime for growth with $60M water infrastructure allocation

Lakeshore Advantage / Lakeshoreadvantage.Com

A major West Michigan water infrastructure project supporting food processors and future expansion in Ottawa and Muskegon Counties could soon receive state funding.

“We have one of the most robust food processing sectors in the state and West Michigan.”

And its about to expand with the Michigan Strategic Fund voting in favor of a $60 million allocation toward construction of a 20 mile, 30-inch force main wastewater line from Muskegon to Coopersville.

Jennifer Owens is President of non-profit local economic development organization, Lakeshore Advantage. She tells Muskegon County’s wastewater facility currently operates at 1/3 capacity.

“This is really going to allow that wastewater treatment facility to connect to Ottawa County and Coopersville and allow that additional capacity that Coopersville has from our food processors and it will allow the community to utilize their resources and many companies to grow as a result.”

Over the past decade, Devries Meats, Swanson Pickle Company and dairy producers Apple Gate, Continental and Fairlife expansion has been restricted by limited water infrastructure.

“They don’t take up the entire capacity so it adds the ability for other companies to grow in the area.”

Morgan Carroll is Director of Business Development with Greater Muskegon Economic Development.

“Also allows the opportunity for expansion of housing in those areas and a potential industrial park as well.”

Failife dairy is investing $5 million toward the project. If approved by the state legislature, will take two-and-a-half years to complete. It’s anticipated to create 145 new jobs and add an estimated $187 million in local private investment.