State awards $790,000 grant to fix Shelby Road

March 31, 2023

State awards $790,000 grant to fix Shelby Road

SHELBY – Governor Gretchen Whitmer awarded a $790,000 state Transportation Economic Development Fund (TEDF) grant to upgrade Shelby Road so that Peterson Farms and Perdue Farms can expand their businesses.

The grant will support a total of 128 new jobs and will enable $31 million in private investments in the Village and Township of Shelby, according to a press release from Michigan Business Network.

“Fixing our roads and bridges drives economic activity and ensures people can go to work, drop their kids off at school, and run errands safely,” said Governor Whitmer. “Since I took office, we have fixed over 16,000 lane miles of road and more than 1,200 bridges, supporting 89,000 construction jobs. Today’s grants will support 128 more jobs with investments in Oceana County spurring economic development. Together, we are continuing our economic momentum and building a brighter future for Michigan.”

“The TEDF grant helps finance public highway, road, and street projects that are critical to the movement of people and products, and getting workers to their jobs, materials to growers and manufacturers, and finished goods to consumers,” states the press release. “The road project submitted by the Oceana County Road Commission will support investment and job creation for Perdue Farms, LLC and Peterson Farms, Inc.”

“The road improvement project on Shelby Road is a joint project between the Oceana County Road Commission and the Village of Shelby and is funded in large part by an economic development grant from the State of Michigan,” said Mark Timmer, managing director of the Oceana County Road Commission. “Rebuilding this road to all season standards will allow Peterson Farms, Inc. to expand their apple slicing production in Shelby Township and create 29 new jobs. It also will allow Perdue Farms to establish a plant in the Village of Shelby, produce premium grade pet treats, and create 99 new jobs. Shelby Road at the US 31 Freeway is a major access point for Oceana County for semi-trucks traveling to and from Peterson Farms, Inc., other area businesses, and eventually Perdue Farms. Employees of Peterson Farms, Inc., Perdue Farms, local businesses, truck drivers, citizens in the area, and tourists will all benefit from this collaborative project.”

Perdue Farms is the parent company of Perdue Foods and Perdue AgriBusiness, based in Salisbury, Maryland. Perdue Foods is a major chicken, turkey, and pork processing company in the United States and is branching out into a pet treat division that will produce fresh pet treats and food. Perdue Farms is purchasing and renovating the previous Oceana Food plant, which is currently closed, located on 1st Street.

Peterson Farms is headquartered in Shelby and is a market leader in the United States producing both fresh and frozen fruits. Their main fruit production is apples, blueberries, cherries, applesauce, and bottled juices.

The condition of the existing roads and inconsistent all-season road network was an issue identified by both companies as they were exploring their investment and expansion options.

“Having proper infrastructure in place is an important element of maximizing the efficiency of our operations,” said Ryan Perdue, vice president and general manager of Perdue’s Pet Business. “These road improvements in and around the Village of Shelby will help meet the needs of our facility, benefit those living and working in the surrounding areas, and further enable our contributions to Michigan’s important agricultural industry.”

“Peterson Farms is grateful for the collaborative partnership with MDOT, Oceana County Road Commission, Shelby Village, and Shelby Township,” said Richard Raffaelli, chief operating officer of Peterson Farms. “Bringing these groups together really does illustrate that the state government is committed to ensuring that medium to large businesses in the agriculture sector are positioned for growth.”

To meet the needs of the companies, First Street will have the asphalt surface milled and repaved from State Street to the west village limits. Shelby Road will be crushed, shaped, and repaved to all season standards from the west village limits of Shelby to 64th Avenue. A new right turn lane will also be constructed to accommodate the traffic increases, provide protected turn movements, lessen delays, and improve safety.

“The road improvement on First Street will allow Perdue Farms to proceed with the renovation of a former food processing facility in the Village of Shelby, which will result in the creation of 99 new full-time jobs over the next three years,” said Village Administrator Brady Selner. “Perdue Farms locating their premium grade pet treat brand is a massive investment in the Village of Shelby. The grant to upgrade First Street to an all-season route is essential to the project’s success. Employees, truck drivers, and citizens in the area will all benefit from this collaborative project.”

Enacted in 1987 and reauthorized in 1993, TEDF “Category A” or “Targeted Industries Program” grants provide state funding for public roadway improvements that allow road agencies to respond quickly to the transportation needs of expanding companies and eliminate inadequate roadways as an obstacle to private investment and job creation. Eligible road agencies include MDOT, county road commissions, cities, and villages.

“By the end of 2022, Governor Whitmer and Lt. Governor Gilchrist will have fixed, repaired, or replaced more than 16,000 lane miles of road and 1,200 bridges, supporting more than 89,000 jobs without raising taxes by a dime,” states the press release. “These and future repairs are made possible by the Rebuilding Michigan plan, a five-year, $3.5 billion investment in our highways and bridges, and the bipartisan Building Michigan Together Plan, the largest one-time investment in Michigan’s infrastructure in state history. These strategic investments in Michigan’s infrastructure ensure that future Michiganders will have safer roads and bridges to run errands, travel, and strengthen the economy.”

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