LANSING – Sen. Judy Emmons and Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) officials announced on Tuesday a $1 million brownfield grant to help return vacant industrial property in St. Johns to use.
“This grant will help create 40 full-time jobs and bring $4.5 million in private investment to the mid-Michigan region,” said Emmons, R-Sheridan. “The project will greatly benefit local residents in several ways. It will return to productive use a facility that has been vacant due to environmental concerns. Most importantly, it will create good jobs for Michigan workers and help a local company expand and return jobs to mid-Michigan.”
The grant is being given to the Clinton County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to facilitate the reuse of the former Federal-Mogul facility in St. Johns. The 265,000 square-foot building is located near downtown St. Johns and has been vacant since 2008.
The F.C. Mason Company, producers of tillage tools for the agricultural industry since 1898, plans to reuse the site for manufacturing purposes. The company supplies equipment to businesses in North America, South America and Europe and are in the process of bringing back a product line from Mexico to St. Johns.
“This is the result of the ingenuity of F.C Mason and the collaboration of numerous state and local officials,” Emmons said. “I want to thank F. C. Mason for their dedication to the community that it has called home for 113 years. I also applaud the leaders from St. Johns, Clinton County, the Clinton County Economic Alliance and the DEQ, who worked with a local job provider to make this day possible.”
When in use, the former Federal-Mogul facility used trichloroethylene (TCE) for the degreasing of manufactured parts. Based on an environmental investigation undertaken in December 2010, TCE is present under the building at concentrations exceeding non-residential cleanup criteria, as determined by the state. The grant funds will be utilized to pay for the design and installation of engineering controls to protect occupants of the building from exposure to hazardous vapors.
Editor’s Note: A print-quality photograph of Emmons and St. Johns City Manager Dennis LaForest is available by visiting the senator’s photowire at: