State Rep. Greg Markkanen today highlighted announcements from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation that will assist a pair of U.P. communities as they work to compete for jobs and residents.
One project in Calumet will redevelop a historic building at 104 Fifth Street in downtown that has been vacant and underutilized after a fire last year. The future tenant of the updated building will be structural engineering firm Fire Tower Engineer Timber.
Another project in the village will rehabilitate a two-story downtown building located at 201 Fifth Street into a mixed-use development. The project will result in three residential units and two commercial spaces – helping Calumet attract job providers and workers.
“Communities across Michigan are looking at what they can do to be an even better place to live, work and raise a family,” said Markkanen, of Hancock. “These opportunities are big boosts to the U.P. They help revitalize downtown areas and make communities more viable. I am excited to see what these projects do for the village of Calumet, and I will continue fighting for crucial grants and funding in the Legislature so areas across the U.P. can see this support too.”
The city of Hancock was also awarded certification in MEDC’s Redevelopment Ready Communities program. The certification is reserved for communities that have worked to remove development barriers while putting themselves on the fast track to attracting transformational opportunities. Hancock joins Iron Mountain and Calumet as other U.P. communities with the distinction through MEDC.
Rep. Markkanen will finish his second term in the Michigan House in December. In January, he will represent a new 110th House District that includes residents in Gogebic, Houghton, Iron, Keweenaw and Ontonagon counties, as well as Iron Mountain, Kingsford, Breitung Township and Sagola Township in Dickinson County.
“This is the best and safest option for Yoopers,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “There is no other realistic way to move natural gas without a pipeline. Trucking would be nearly impossible and would have a far greater negative impact. This is a common-sense solution that makes sense for everyone.”
“This project will bring jobs and an incredible investment to the Calumet community,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “Anytime we can pair an investment in local business with an investment in our armed forces, it’s a win for Michigan.”
“Many U.P. residents want freedom to install their own solar and have energy independence when possible,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “But they also need reliable and affordable energy when the sun is not out and the wind is not blowing. They also do not want tens of thousands of acres of their communities forced into being solar panels.”
“Local control is essential in all aspects of government, especially in projects that could change the entire landscape of a community,” said Markkanen, R-Hancock. “The people who know best about our community were elected by our friends and neighbors to make those decisions. It’s vital that our voices don’t get drowned out by Lansing Democrats who want to make the U.P. into a parking lot full of windmills.”