67
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      Monday
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      Port collaborative opens waterways to industry

      Public and private business leaders in Rogers City are working closely to open the Port of Calcite up to more industry.

      L ake Huron's coast in Rogers City is home to the largest limestone quarry in the world.

      T he Port of Calcite has been open to the limestone industry for many years. But now local business leaders are opening their minds and the shorelines to other companies as well.

      " It takes some of the property we own here in the Calcite that we weren't using for any of our core business and allowing someone else who could come in here and develop that port and bring jobs to the community which we all want to see happen ,"Carmeuse Lime & Stone Operations Manager Ray LeClair said.

      E ar ly Friday, public and private business owners announced a partnership that will develop the Port of Calcite to bring in new kinds of work.

      C armeuse Lime and Stone provided the land. Moran Iron Works and Presque Isle County are developing it.

      T his upgrade will open the region up to larger projects and more jobs.

      " They couldn't count on the infrastructure being there but for now or at least the next decade or more industries in business can count on that and that will lead to a cascading effect ," Moran Iron Works Owner Tom Moran said.

      T his project will cost more than $16 million to develop. Two million of that is coming from a statewide development grant and the rest is private investment.

      T he plan calls for dock improvements, a new Moran Iron Works manufacturing facility, and a state-of-the-art crain that will be bought and leased by the county. Each group signed on for a decade in hopes of sparking new economic development in the northeast Michigan.

      " Over the next ten years as will have $100 million impact for northeast Michigan because this is really a regional project not just a Presque Isle County project," PICEDC Executive Director Joe Libby explained.

      T he construction will begin in the spring and the entire project will likely be done at the end of 2015.