COOPERSVILLE — Two West Michigan dairy producers will collaborate on a wastewater infrastructure project that could spur up to $173 million in future investment in Coopersville.
Coopersville-based Continental Dairy Facilities LLC and Illinois-based Fairlife LLC have teamed up on the project, which will include installing a wastewater pretreatment system at the 100-acre former GM Delphi campus, shared by both companies. The project also includes the installation of larger effluent pumps at Coopersville wastewater treatment facility to increase flow.
Continental Dairy and Fairlife maintain that expanding the wastewater treatment system is essential for their continued growth in West Michigan. Coopersville’s current wastewater treatment facility is operating at full capacity, barring either company from expanding operations further.
Once the wastewater infrastructure improvements are made, both companies expect to ramp up expansion efforts and ultimately create 52 new jobs, according to a statement.
“Fairlife continues to achieve an astonishing rate of growth,” Hawk Dobbins, plant engineer at Fairlife’s Coopersville facility, said in a statement. “This collaborative project will allow our growth to continue unabated and paves the way for long term investment and job creation in West Michigan.”
The Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) today awarded the companies a $2.4 million grant to assist in installing the pretreatment system at their facility, according to documents provided by the state.
The entire wastewater project is expected to cost $3.7 million.
“Without capacity in the wastewater treatment system, Fairlife and Continental Dairy have no choice but to stop expanding their Coopersville operations and focus new growth in other out-of-state locations,” Stacy Bowerman and David Kurtycz, project managers with the MEDC, said today in a briefing memo prior to the Michigan Strategic Fund meeting.
Coopersville will invest approximately $1.1 million to expand its wastewater system in support of the project.
“Fairlife and Continental Dairy have been a significant economic development success story here and in West Michigan,” Steven Patrick, city manager of Coopersville in a statement. “The continued support from the MEDC through the Michigan Business Development Program grant and the City of Coopersville’s on-going investment in its own wastewater treatment plant will provide the means to allow further investment in growth and job creation. We are very appreciative of the collaboration taking place between the State of Michigan, Continental Dairy and Fairlife, and the City of Coopersville.”