ECO August challenge by Stephanie is local happenings....
This is one thing happening in Michigan you don't want to miss....
Have you seen the Mariah Windspire??? A VAWT!
Isn't it beautiful???
What is it you may ask???
This is a new Vertical Axis Wind Turbine, known in the industry as a
What does this have to do with
"how green fits into the localism picture."
What about JOBS? What about New Home Sales because of new
jobs?" Does that make sense?
Keep reading to find out more!!!
I attended the Manistee County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday August 19 and heard this news....
Manistee County is in the running to be the new home to manufacturing operations for Mariah Windpower. Resulting from a partnership formed between Mariah Power and MasTech Manufacturing Manistee County stands to gain 116 new jobs. Mariah Power offers a vertical axis wind turbine (VAWT), the Windspire. The Windspire offers an affordable choice for renewable energy for homes and businesses. Mariah is expected to begin production with 100 units per month, quickly increasing to 300 – 400 per month over the next year. Within two years they expect to produce 1000 units per month for residential, business and government use.
Mariah Power demonstrated a working model of the Windspire at the 2008 Michigan Energy Fair at the Manistee County Fairgrounds in June. Visitors to the fair expressed considerable interest in the Windspire which is one explanation why Mariah Power currently has a backlog of orders for the Windspire.
Manistee county commission chairman Allan O’Shea was instrumental in the formation of the new partnership. Mr. O’Shea was one of the original founders and first president of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). In the best interest of his constituents Mr. O’Shea helped coordinate the key players in this venture after bringing the lead to the attention of the Alliance for Economic Success.
Renee Ihlenfeldt, executive director of the Alliance for Economic Success (AES) appeared at the Manistee County Board of Commissioners meeting Tuesday August 19, 2008 to ask the board for permission to file a $400,000 Community Development Block Grant (CDBC) that is being pursued through Manistee County. The purpose of the grant will be to provide funds to purchase equipment required to enable this business to begin manufacturing, marketing and selling vertical axis wind power systems in the US and abroad.
A Notice of Intent to release funds has been published and includes a notice of an Environmental Review Record which is on file and available for inspection in the County Controller/Administrator’s Office. The environmental review is required under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969.
Ms. Ihlenfeldt said the City of Manistee, Manistee County and the State of Michigan have been involved in coordinating efforts to make this venture possible and theu offer a three pronged approach to make the project feasible for the manufacturer. The projected costs to bring the Windspire production online are estimated at $2,246,000. The AES is also competing for a grant for the new partnership under the 21st Century Job Fund with the State of Michigan. The grant amount is determined by the number of committed new jobs.
Conservative projections are 41 new jobs in the first year, 27 new jobs in the second year and 48 jobs in the third year. Stipulated in the grant 51 percent of the jobs must go to individuals in the moderate to low income brackets.
Manistee County competes with a city in Ohio that is offering a $1.8 million interest free loan. Ihlenfelt said there has been a group effort in Michigan to secure the manufacturing operations in Manistee County.
During the Board of Commissioners Meeting Mr. O'Shea praised Ms. Ihlenfeldt and the AES for their quick response in forming a plan of action. Mr. O'Shea said, "this committee is committed to running with any lead this way. This shows the commitment of the county to promote any new business and jobs." Manistee county has developed a "Jobs for Manistee County" which is a countywide program offering incentives to new employers. You can download a copy of "Manistee County Means Business" here.
This picture was taken from Franz's IGA in Onekama Michigan, in the heart of Manistee county. I had an AWESOME meatloaf lunch plate there following the Manistee County Commission meeting!!! What a beautiful view of Portage Lake! If you go to Onekama stop by and say hi to Lars and Dee! Tell them "Ma" sent you. You may get an extra scoop of potatoes...and then again, you may not!
UPDATE: In an unfortunate turn of events the Michigan Economic Development Corporation(MEDC) refused a loan to this partnership under the 21st Century Jobs Program. You can read the story printed in the Traverse City Record Eagle.
Allan O'Shea still has confidence efforts of local public and private parties will be able to seal the deal for Michigan. O'Shea is quoted in the TC Record Eagle,
"The question is, are we about fundamental change, or are we about superficial change?"