Now Seeking Consent from Local Municipalities

(FLINT, MICH – November 9, 2011) At the invitation of the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC), the I-69 International Trade Corridor Partners are taking the next steps to prepare the formal application for the Next Michigan Development Corporation (NMDC) designation, also known as an Aerotropolis.

The partners are now meeting with municipalities in Genesee, Lapeer, Oakland, St. Clair and Shiawassee counties to encourage their support and gain buy-in.

According to Tim Herman, CEO of the Flint & Genesee Chamber of Commerce, this is an important step in the application process as an Inter-local agreement must be executed between the community partners to apply for an NMDC designation.

“It’s great to see the process working so well among the partners,” said Herman.  “The NMDC designation is another important chance for the communities to work together to stimulate economic development around our region’s assets and create jobs.”

An NMDC will allow greater leverage of the I-69 Corridor’s greatest assets to attract businesses and investment with Bishop International Airport as the centerpiece. In addition, it will allow select properties to be positioned for unique incentives that support multi-modal development, job creation and regional collaboration.

If designated, the NMDC will pursue businesses that are engaged in international multi-modal commerce that find the I-69 Corridor an attractive alternative to congestion currently occurring at other border crossings, rail shipping/receiving yards and airports.

“From the very beginning we’ve been collaborating with our local municipal partners,” said Janice Karcher, Vice President of Economic Development for the Regional Chamber. “Now we are in the position to meet not only with the municipalities, but with their Boards as well. In fact, we are meeting with seven groups over the next 10 days, and we have several others to be confirmed.”

Karcher added: “We’re introducing this opportunity and we are communicating the benefits and commitment required to be successful. We are all challenged to collaborate in new ways, and this project allows us to do just that. Everyone is excited about the possibilities.”

The I-69 Corridor regional partners plan to submit the application to the MEDC by the end of the year. Following the submission, the application must be reviewed and approved by the governor and the Michigan Strategic Fund.

Once the NMDC designation is approved, it will be announced and the partners will work collectively to market and promote the region’s strengths and assets.

“I am hopeful that many of the municipalities being recruited to join us in this effort will see its value and participate,” said Jim Rice, Airport Director at Bishop International Airport. “This is a great opportunity for all of us to work together to attract additional businesses to our region.”

The I-69 NMDC application will represent Genesee, Lapeer, Oakland, St. Clair and Shiawassee counties, and as many as 19 local municipalities. Key intermodal assets in the proposed area include Bishop International Airport, major freeways, Blue Water Bridge, CSX and Canadian National rails.

The Next Michigan Development Act allows for up to five NMDCs in the state to be granted by Michigan Strategic Fund in cooperation with the MEDC.