FORT WAYNE, Ind., Dec. 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Indiana Michigan Power (I&M), an American Electric Power (Nasdaq: AEP) company, is dedicated to improving the quality of life and growing the communities it proudly serves. That's why I&M recently provided a total of $215,000 in economic development grants to seven organizations in its service territory – six in Indiana and one in Southwest Michigan.

The grants were given to economic development organizations serving St. Joseph, Adams, Noble, Delaware, Allen and Elkhart Counties in Indiana and Berrien County in Michigan.

"I&M is committed to helping our local communities achieve their growth objectives and improve areas prime for new business," said Ashley Savieo, director of Economic and Business Development for American Electric Power. "Our goal is to help create strong and diverse local economies that will benefit the communities where we our customers live, shop, work, and attend school."

The funds will support development organizations' ongoing efforts to create shovel-ready industrial properties and develop speculative industrial buildings. These are critical assets for attracting new or growing employers as every step taken by development organizations before a company chooses to invest in a location helps make the site more marketable and mitigate risks to the company looking to invest.

Investing in this work has the benefits of increasing the local tax base, growing opportunities for job and wage creation and increasing regional gross domestic product.

There are numerous hurtles in making sure commercial and industrial sites have access to the needed resources, and by being involved in the process I&M can make sure potential businesses are able to utilize infrastructure already put into place.

Below is a breakdown of the $215,000 in grants by county and recipient organization:

Michiana

  • Berrien County, Mich. ($29,500)
    • Cornerstone Alliance of Berrien County – Cornerstone Industrial Park spec building
      • I&M provided a grant in order to clear part of the property.
    • Cornerstone Alliance of Berrien County – Lemon Creek Site
      • I&M provided a grant for the organization to prepare conceptual plans for the property to market to a larger audience.
  • St. Joseph County, Ind. ($50,000)
    • St. Joseph County Chamber of Commerce – Indiana Enterprise Center (IEC) Site 2
      • I&M provided a grant for the design of building concepts, drawings, site plans, and engineering. Grant money will also assist in the due diligence, a portion of acquisition price, site readiness, clearing and grading.
  • Elkhart County, Ind. ($25,000)
    • EDC of Elkhart – West Baugo Parkway site
      • I&M provided a grant to remedy water access and pressure issues. The grant will also help with ground-cover and brush site clean-up for aesthetic improvements.

Northeast Indiana

  • Adams County, Ind. ($50,000)
    • Adams County Economic Development Corp.– AC North Site
      • I&M provided a grant for creating a new business park. It will also be utilized to complete studies/assessments to identify development risks and conceptual plans. 
  • Noble County, Ind. ($25,000)
    • Town of Avilla – Avilla Industrial Park
      • I&M provided a grant to the Town of Avilla to complete engineering work in its industrial park.
      • Funding from I&M will help match an EDA grant recently awarded to the town.
      • Infrastructure support will include construction of a public roadway, storm water swales and culverts as well as storm water detention, extending water, sewer lines and a lift station.
      • This grant will help Avilla to recruit new industrial park users.
  • Allen County, Ind. ($25,000)
    • Greater Fort Wayne, Inc. & Hagerman Group – Airport Business Center West
    • I&M has provided a grant to advance engineering work that will lead to the installation of a needed public infrastructure for full site build out.
    • This is timely, as Allen County officials are working to improve the intersection of Airport Expressway and Smith Roads.

East Central Indiana

  • Delaware County, Ind.  ($10,000)
    • Muncie-Delaware County Economic Development Alliance – Muncie Industria Centre
    • I&M provided a grant to help cover due diligence and site planning including a Food Processing Shovel Ready Site Designation.

I&M is focused on helping local communities become more competitive for business investment.

Site development can be a very large undertaking for communities because of logistical issues and overall costs before a business ever looks at a piece of property. The grants will help fund land studies, cleanups and more that will allow the potential businesses to understand what resources are available at a specific development site

"Getting the land in a shovel-ready condition is critical for our communities to be able to market the land for new development," said Shelley Klug, manager of Economic and Business Development with American Electric Power said. "Businesses are focused on speed to market so mitigating risks in advance results in cost savings for the company and a positive customer experience."

For more information on I&M's economic development commitment visit aeped.com/regions/indiana.

ABOUT INDIANA MICHIGAN POWER:

Indiana Michigan Power (I&M) is headquartered in Fort Wayne, and its approximately 2,100 employees serve more than 600,000 customers. More than 85% of its energy delivered in 2020 was emission-free.  I&M has at its availability various sources of generation including 2,278 MW of nuclear generation in Michigan, 450 MW of purchased wind generation from Indiana, more than 22 MW of hydro generation in both states, nearly 35 MW of large-scale solar generation in both states, and 2,620 MW of coal-fueled generation in Indiana.

ABOUT AMERICAN ELECTRIC POWER:

American Electric Power, based in Columbus, Ohio, is powering a cleaner, brighter energy future for its customers and communities. AEP's approximately 16,700 employees operate and maintain the nation's largest electricity transmission system and more than 224,000 miles of distribution lines to safely deliver reliable and affordable power to 5.5 million regulated customers in 11 states. AEP also is one of the nation's largest electricity producers with approximately 31,000 megawatts of diverse generating capacity, including more than 5,900 megawatts of renewable energy. The company's plans include growing its renewable generation portfolio to approximately 50% of total capacity by 2030. AEP is on track to reach an 80% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions from 2000 levels by 2030 and has committed to achieving net zero by 2050. AEP is recognized consistently for its focus on sustainability, community engagement, and diversity, equity and inclusion. AEP's family of companies includes utilities AEP Ohio, AEP Texas, Appalachian Power (in Virginia and West Virginia), AEP Appalachian Power (in Tennessee), Indiana Michigan Power, Kentucky Power, Public Service Company of Oklahoma, and Southwestern Electric Power Company (in Arkansas, Louisiana, east Texas and the Texas Panhandle). AEP also owns AEP Energy, which provides innovative competitive energy solutions nationwide. For more information, visit aep.com.

News releases and other information about I&M are available at IndianaMichiganPower.com

(PRNewsfoto/American Electric Power)

 

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SOURCE Indiana Michigan Power

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