I-69 Trade Corridor Development discussion planned

FLINT TWP. — The first economic development plan to attract businesses and jobs for the I-69 International Trade Corridor near Bishop International Airport could be in the works.

An informal workshop meeting is being planned for Jan. 30 at the township hall to discuss creating a tax-free renaissance zone for designated township properties near the airport , said Tracey Tucker, township economic enhancement director.

Tucker said details are not yet available but the workshop meeting is spearheaded by Janice Karcher, vice president of economic development for the Genesee Regional Chamber of Commerce (GRCC).

The GRCC is one of four countywide economic development organizations supporting the trade corridor. The others are the Shiawassee Economic Development Partnership, Lapeer Development Corporation, and the Economic Development Alliance of St. Clair County.

Elected and appointed Flint Township officials also will be invited to the meeting including the board of trustees, planning commission, zoning board and the economic development corporation.

Tucker said any decisions reached ultimately must be brought before the township board of trustees for final approval.

Flint Township is one of 33 government units in four counties participating in a Next Michigan Development Corporation (NMDC), or aerotropolis,

The group officially formed a Regional Development Authority last February to oversee efforts to attract more businesses and jobs along the I-69 trade corridor.

It was the third of only five NMDC designation to be allocated in the state. The first two NMDC desginations were awarded to airports in Detroit and Lansing.

Key marketing assets of a multimodal industry planned along the corridor includes Bishop Airport, major freeways, the Blue Water Bridge, CSX and Canadian National rails and several water ports.

Participating communities in Genesee County include the cities of Flint, Burton, Fenton and Grand Blanc and the townships of Davison, Flint, Grand Blanc, Mundy and Mt. Morris. The Genesee County Board of Commissioners has also signed on. All pay an annual fee to be part of the NMDC.

Participants from other counties includes the cities of Lapeer, Port Huron, Owosso and Durand as well as many townships and villages.

Hundreds of available properties exist within the 2,500 square-milearea included in the trade corridor, according to site selection information provided online at www. I- 69internationaltradecorridor.com.

Potential renaissance Zone properties also have been identified in other Genesee County municipalities and are under consideration.

A tax-free Renaissance zone designation, spanning 15-years, is one of several incentives the NMDC is hoping to offer to qualified businesses in the trade corridor that use at least two modes of transportation.

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