Local Boards Approve Land Use for Massive Battery Plant in Mecosta County

The first hurdle cleared. The local governments give the thumbs up to a massive new battery plant in Mecosta County.

One of the largest battery manufacturers in the world picked Big Rapids as the spot for their next plant. Billions of dollars spent and thousands of jobs created, as long as the plan was approved by the local boards and the incentives are right.Br Plant Pkg 9 26 2200 00 55 04still001

Gotion Inc. chose Mecosta County as the site for their $2.5 billion battery components plant, out of 40 potential locations in North America.

As the plans began rolling out and becoming public, one of the most attractive numbers was the jobs created. Gotion plans for 200-500 jobs coming once the plant opens, with a full 2,300 coming in the next decade. That is revolutionary for the area, making them the largest employer in the multi county area. That’s the kind of return on investment the state is hoping for projects like these.

Monday night, the boards for Big Rapids and Green Townships as well as the County voted to approve the site as a ‘Renaissance Zone’ allowing for tax free usage.

The parcel of land, located just west of the Roben-Hood Airport, is 523 acres.

Twenty people spoke during public comment but none were against the project. There were questions about environmental impact and the Chinese beginnings of the company but the crowd was satisfied.

“Please take seriously the safety of the people in this community,” said Tyler Huntey, “I take personal responsibility for the safety of many children and I hope you take the safety of the environmental impact of this factory will have, any consideration.”

This was just the first step of the approval process but a crucial one. Next it will be up to the state to put in place incentives for Gotion before everything is finalized in the next six months.