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DETROIT-The Michigan Economic Development Corp. says the Thumb Area and Northern Tier Renaissance Zones have received approval to create subzones and expand their boundaries. The new expansions will result in approximately 138 new jobs, $57 million in private investment and the reuse of previously underutilized industrialproperty, MEDC officials say.

The Thumb Area Renaissance Zone received approval to expand an existing subzone in Caro Village and create an additional subzone in Cass City. The Caro Village subzone will expand its boundaries by approximately six acres.

This expansion enables Michigan Ethanol, LLC to begin construction of a $55-million ethanol processing facility, which is expected to create 38 new, full-time jobs. It is estimated the ethanol facility will require about 14.3 million bushels of corn each year benefiting approximately 1,000 Michigan farmers.

The approval of the new Cass City subzone makes it possible for Millennium Industries to move into the former General Cable facility. Earlier this year, the community lost 200 jobs when General Cable closed its doors. Millennium will invest approximately $2.5 million in the old site creating 100 new jobs within the next five years.

In addition, the Northern Tier Renaissance Zone in Rogers City will gain more than three acres. This expansion will make it possible for the Rogers City to convert blighted, unused industrial areas into residential housing for the community.

Created in 1996, the Renaissance Zone program sets aside geographic areas of the state as virtually tax-free for any business or resident located in or moving to one of the zones. There are 124 tax-free geographic areas. As of September, Michigan’s Renaissance Zones have spurred more than 216 projects with a combined private investment of more than $1.3 billion and created more than 5,800 jobs.

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