April 23 04:15 AM

Big boost for Keihin project

June 13, 2007
CAPAC — The news just keeps getting better.

Last week, Governor Jennifer Granholm announced that Capac would receive more than $300,000 in grant monies for utility upgrades to accommodate the coming Keihin Manufacturing plant.

The grant is being made available by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) and the federal Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.

Capac will give $42,000 of their own funds and St. Clair County has agreed to give $100,000 toward water, sewer and road upgrades.

A portion of Koehn Rd. that will link Capac Rd. with the plant will be turned into three lanes and paved.

"Keihin's investment in Michigan will create hundreds of good-paying jobs for workers in the Capac community while confirming our status as the automotive capital of the world," Granholm said.

The MEDC administers the state's CDBG funds received from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. The money is used for grants and loans, typically for municipalities with populations less than 50,000, for economic and community development and housing projects.

"This combination of federal, state and local support allows the community to make the best use of its available resources," MEDC President James C. Epolito said.

Acting Capac Village Manager Dennis Collison agreed, saying the new development is a major bright spot in Capac's recent history.

"We truly appreciate the company's confidence in our area and we hope this will be just the beginning of the village of Capac and Michigan's economic rebound," he added.

In April, Keihin (pronouned Kay-hin) announced its intention to build a 120,000 sq. ft plant on 27 acres at Koehn and Capac roads at the village's southern limits. The $22 million investment will create about 260 jobs.

A groundbreaking ceremony is slated for July 19 at 11 a.m. and will coincide with the village's sesquicentennial celebrations also set for that weekend, Collison said.

Close to 20 Keihin officials plan to attend the public event and, Collison said, Granholm and state and federal representatives have also been invited.

It's possible they'll be working on the site even before the groundbreaking, he said. They've been given approval for building and site work by the state and this week they'll conduct interviews and choose a contractor for the project.

Collison credits regular meetings with Keihin, county and state officials for ensuring the projects stays on schedule.

The plant, which will manufacture intake manifold assemblies and HVAC systems, is expected to start operation in the fall of 2008.

Assistant Editor
Castle Creek
04 - 23 - 19
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