Economic Development, Infrastructure Highlighted in Bay State of the Community Addresses

Bay City City Manager Dana Muscott provided the Bay Area Chamber of Commerce with an update of where the city stands in a State of the City address Wednesday.

The city was awarded $31 million dollars in American Rescue Plan Act funding, allocating those funds to a variety of areas like code enforcement, the wastewater treatment plant, housing assitance, lead service line replacement, road construction and more.

Muscott describes how those funds were allocated.

Muscott says because of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was a need to have those funds allocated and distributed as quickly as possible. She says while there a few contracts which are still in the works, most of the ARPA money has been distributed.

Bay City continues to try and attract and retain talent in the area to further its economic evelopment goals. That was one of the main messages of  Muscott in the address. She says one of the new programs to entice people to the area is the Hey Bay City initiative, which she calls a one stop shop.

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Roads were also in the discussion.

Last April, a report showed 69 percent of the city’s roads were in poor condition, with only 13 percent rated as good.

Muscott says the city has about $6million in ARPA funding to work on road projects.

Muscott says the city is also looking for state and federal grants to continue to work on road projects in the coming year.

Bay County continues to work on attracting businesses to the region, with successes in the past year spurring them on.

County Executive Jim Barcia spoke in a state of the county address Wednesday, touting the county’s efforts to bring in businesses like SK Siltron, a South Korean based manufacturer of polysilicon wafers to be used in things like electric vehicles.

Barcia says it’s the largest economic development investment the county has ever had and is likely to attract more.

SK Siltron has invested around $900 million in their plant in Monitor Township, with the creation of around 450 full time jobs.

In 2022, Bay County received $20 million in American Rescue Plan Act funding. Barcia called it a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Areas the county has spent ARPA funding include housing assistance, economic development and parks and recreation.

One of the items Barcia spoke of was a forthcoming Bay Health Cervices Center, combining several aspects of health and well beng for residents of the county. He provided a layout of the upcoming facility.

Barcia says the facility will serve critical and mental health services, especially to underserved residents of the county.