Lansing City Council unanimously votes in favor of moving forward with potential GM battery plant
The Lansing City Council unanimously voted yes on the first step to bringing the plant to Mid-Michigan. They renewed their land agreement with Delta Township -- that opens the door for negotiations with GM to build the battery plant near the current Delta Township plant.
Without the battery plant, Michigan could be meeting the end of its reign as the king of auto manufacturing.
“GM, one year ago in Tennessee; Ford, one month ago in Tennessee and Kentucky; Toyota, last week in North Carolina -- those are the new electric battery plants that have been announced,” said Bob Trezise, president and CEO of the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. “All of those have received more than half a billion dollars in incentives.”
The city of Lansing is working to build an enticing offer to GM to bring the plant to Mid-Michigan.
In addition to tax breaks, Trezise said it’s imperative that the city include a large break in the plant’s power bill too. That decision would come from the Lansing Board of Water and Light.
“I think it sets the path for Lansing for the next 20 years. Electric rates for customers this size are very important,” said BWL general manager Dick Peffley. “We’re going to make sure we are competitive and don’t lose this customer based on electric rates.”
The Lansing Board of Water and Light will decide on if the plant gets discounts Tuesday.
Trezise said both sides of the political aisle have been working together to make it happen because the future of the auto industry in Michigan depends on it.
“I think everyone understands -- especially honestly after those Ford announcements in Kentucky and Tennessee -- that we better secure the future of the automotive industry and the technologies. We better secure those now,” Trezise said. “We’re at the tail end of those decisions that are setting the course of the next 20 years. I don’t want to quite say this is our last chance as a state and our region, but maybe.”
Trezise said that 20% of all jobs in Michigan are connected to the automotive industry, which another reason why it’s important Lansing makes the best offer to bring the battery plant to Delta Township.
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