Thursday, October 14, 2010

Odds and Ins Around Holland Michigan

The Macatawa Watershed has been drastically altered and wetlands removed over the past 100-or-so years. Artificial wetlands, although not as effective as natural ones, will help to filter water as it returns to the watershed. They also provide a habitat for native plants and animals. LG Chem’s $300 million lithium-ion battery plant on the south side of Holland includes a little more than two acres of wetlands. By law, LG has to create 1.5 times that amount of artificial wetlands. So to obided by the laws LG has started building artifical wetlands at Van Raalte Farm on 16th Street. Right now, it looks like a giant pile of dirt that is thousands of yards of fill coming from an LG project to build two ponds with a berm in between. About this pile of dirt the Parks and Recreation Director Gray Gogolin said. “It’s not anything permanent.” The company also will pay to plant native species as well as build trails around the ponds and integrate them into the farm’s existing trail system.

Perrigo Job Fair
Hundreds of people lined-up at a job fair Tuesday, hoping to land a job with a West Michigan drug company. Perrigo is hiring up to 70 people for its Holland and Allegan locations. The hugh turnout shows how tough the local job market remains. Many of the applicants who lined up at the Holland Michigan Works! office were among the long-term unemployed, people whose job searches have extended from months into years. The prevalence of long-term unemployment may be one reason that use of Michigan’s Bridge Card for food assistance has risen sharply in Ottawa County (up 42.9 percent in 2009 to an astounding 13,172 families). As we and others have written on this page many times, there are many reasons to be optimistic about the Holland area economy, but it’s clear we have a long, long way to go to make a real dent in the ranks of the unemployed and underemployed.

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