Advance Notice: Briefs

House committee approves funding transfer for Ford battery plant

By: - June 28, 2023 11:41 am

Michigan Economic Development Corp. | Susan J. Demas

The Michigan House Appropriations Committee voted Tuesday to advance a transfer of funds to support site readiness activities for the development of Ford’s BlueOval Battery Park, an electric vehicle battery plant planned for construction in Marshall.

The $120.3 million transfer would go towards land acquisition, water and wastewater upgrades, and other infrastructure needs for the site of what is planned to be a 2.5 million square foot facility. Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a supplemental spending plan in March approving $630 million for the project and modifications to nearby highways, the sum of which will be completed by the newly approved funding transfer.

Whitmer said in March that the plant would create 2,500 jobs in Marshall. The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) testified in support of the transfers. Terri Fitzpatrick, MEDC executive vice president, said that transferring the funds for site readiness would be crucial to the project’s success. 

“The more known about a site mitigates risk and is therefore considered more favorably by interested parties,” Fitzpatrick said. 

Similar to contention over the Gotion battery plant development in Mecosta County, Ford has received pushback from some Marshall residents who oppose the rezoning of the land for industrial use. A petition to “stop the megasite” received over 800 signatures in May by residents wishing to see the land put to use as a recreation or natural area.

The transfer is still under consideration by the Senate Appropriations Committee. 

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Lily Guiney
Lily Guiney

Lily is a contributor to the Michigan Advance and a former reporting intern. Her coverage areas included state government and politics, including abortion rights and gun violence prevention issues.