Port project means jobs for area; possibility for more growth

Joe Libby, executive director of the Presque Isle County EDC, introduces Tom Moran at Friday's announcement.

A large crowd filled the Rogers City Senior & Community Center Friday (Feb. 8.) to hear plans for an economic jump start. A collaborative effort between Moran Iron Works (MIW), the Presque Isle County Economic Development Corporation, Carmeuse Lime & Stone and several government agencies will open the Port of Calcite for business.

At the center of the project is the MIW plan to expand its Onaway facility and to make improvements to the dock at Calcite. Other area businesses and organizations will have access to the port.

MIW received a $2 million grant from the state last month towards the project, planned to be in the $16 million range. Moran states the $16 million project is expected to generate a $100 million benefit over the next 10 years, with 75 more jobs coming directly from the project.

Friday’s event announced the Port of Calcite Collaborative economic development project.

“The focus of the meeting is to explain how the Port of Calcite Collaborative was created, what the public/private partnership means for northeast Michigan and how the financial investment by the MEDC (Michigan Economic Development Corporation) will help produce jobs and economic development for our region,” said Joe Libby, Presque Isle County Economic Development Corporation (PIEDC) executive director.

Along with the PICEDC, representatives from the Presque Isle County Board of Commissioners, the city of Rogers City, Carmeuse Lime & Stone, Moran Iron Works and the MEDC were on hand to discuss the project.

State Rep. Peter Pettalia was part of the ceremony recognizing the efforts of the local government officials and businesses working together to improve Michigan.

“There have been a lot of meetings and discussions to put this project together ,” said Pettalia, R-Presque Isle.

The MEDC recently awarded a $2 million Michigan Business Development Program grant for the port project, which centers on Moran Iron Works expanding its Onaway facility to make larger products, as well as make dock and facility improvements at the Port of Calcite in Rogers City with the cooperation of Presque Isle County, to transport their products. Other area businesses and organizations also will have access to the port for improving goods transportation opportunities