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Page 6-Friday, October 3, 1980-The Michigan Daily
.P. town reborn
Community rises from Kincheloe base ruins*
KINROSS, Mich. (AP)-Kincheloe
Air Force Base looked as if it had been
hit by nerve gas. Barracks were silent.
Cavernous hangars stood empty. Pen-
cils and half-written orders littered
Built in 1941 to protect the nearby Soo
Locks during World War II, the base
outlived its usefulness and three years
ago was closed.
SEVEN HUNDRED civilian jobs
vanished, along with support business
for the base's 10,000 residents. It
seemed the last nail in the economic
coffin of an already depressed area in
Michigan's Upper Peninsula.
But the gloom has given way to a
glow of economic promise. A minimum-
security state prison has moved in,
providing jobs for 300. The hangars .
have been converted into a bustling in-
dustrial park. A California develop-
ment firm is touting 'Woodside," a
1,200-house project created from the old
Kincheloe officers' quarters.
The phoenix hasn't risen from the
ashes, but it's certainly flapping its
"WHO COULD expect that a com-
muntiy on the northern tier of this coun-
try, within a period of three years, would
completely replace 700 jobs and fill all
the existing buildings on that base,"
asked Wallace Bishop Jr., a regional
director of the Office of Economic Ad-
justment, a federal program that helps
communities survive military base
closures or personnel cutbacks at
Robert Risik remembers the first day
he came to Kincheloe.
Then city manager of the small
tourist town of Manistique, Risik, 31,
was offered the job as director of the
Base Conversion Authority, a state
agency created to help local officials.
"I CAME OVER here and there was a
prison, some 100 empty buildings and
1,200 empty houses," said Risik. "I
though there was no way I could screw
it up. The situation could only im-
Risik said the effort has far exceeded
his expectations and predicts that by
1985, 5,000 people will live here, 2,000 of
them with jobs created since the Air
"You're going to have a new com-
munity rising out of this rubble," said
Risik. "I don't know what it will be
called, or if it will be a city, village or
chartered township, but there will be a
new creation here."
NEW TOWN, or whatever its shapers
decide to call the community 18 miles
south of Sault Ste. Marie and the
Canadian border, has no small number
of built-in advantages.
The base airport, now known as the
Chippewa County International Air-
port, has a 300-foot-wide runway 3,500
feet longer than the main runway at
Chicago's O'Hare International Air-
port. The 4,000-acre abandoned base
boasts twa elementary schools, a
modern sewer plant and 29 miles of
paved roads. And it's all paid for.
"When it's created, this will be a debt
free community," Risik said. "There
will be no debt retirement to worry
THE 1,000 PEOPLE living here-both
old and new residents-don't seem
bothered by the Kinross Correctional
Facility, the sprawling minimum-
security prison established here after
the Air Force left. Two developers even
want the state to expand it.
"We answer people's questions, if
they ask," said James Nevis, a Mon-
terey, Calif., developer and a partner in
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Woodside. "We have to answer those
questions. The prison is here and the
signs are everywhere."
His partner, Charles Lunt Jr., said a
bigger facility would mean more jobs
and more local business.
"THE INMATES there are at the end
of their terms and they're not
problem," said Lunt. "And if 'they
enlarge, we have more guards, tihere
support business. and the prospeKf of
selling more houses."
Nevis and Lunt are running a slick
advertising campaign to sell Woodside.
An eight-page color tabloid insert -for
major Midwestern newspapers
describes the homes, at prices from
$16,900 to $55,000, and highlights tie
area's physical beauty and nearby
tourist attractions, such as Mackinac
"We're trying to do the things that
will get people here, like clear cross-
country ski trails and build bieycle
motocross trails for kids," said Nevis.
"We think there are a lot of peoplewfho
want to leave the cities-if they have~a
JOBS-critically needed in a country
with an unemployment rate of 15.8 per-
cent-are coming. More than 900 peopltW
are working at the industrial park, doe
to efforts by the county board aqd
Economic Development Commissibn.'
"Our incentives can't be beatenk"
said EDC president Michael McCarthy.
"We offer a 50 percent tax abatenent
over 12 years, low interest loans aid
developed land at a lease cost of 10 ce -
ts a square foot, compared to $2 a foot In
large, metropolitan industrial parks.
"But we had to overcome the sim
myth that the Upper Peninsula isn't tit
for manufacturing," he added. "We' e
shown these people that we're close to
rail lines and major highways. Anti e
have a tax rate of 28.5 mills, compared
with 75 to 100 in large industrial parks.
Clarence Ward, vice president of
Olofsson Fabrication Services Inc.,
said he had expected to employ 15
people in his steel fabrication plant 4
the end of his first year.
"But we've got 72 and we've expan-
ded into two buildings," he said. "We
like it here and we're here to stay.". "
Oct. 3, 1980
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THERE'S A TIGER LOOSE IN FLORIDA.
What a jungle!
The competition is fierce.
The technology is high-powered.
The IC applications are critical.
It takes a leader to stay ahead of the pack-it takes Harris
We've made our way to the forefront of the highly-
competitive IC industry through a winning combination of
innovative technology, talented and dedicated personnel,
demanding production standards, and aggressive marketing.
Last year, revenues were up 50% to about $150 million.
And a $250 million expansion program is currently underway.
(Forbes Magazine calls it "a semiconductor triumph.")
Right now, Harris Semiconductor is on the prowl for
college graduates in Electrical and Chemical Engineering,
Physics, Materials Science, Chemistry, and Computer Science.
You'll make your way to the top. Through a dual
opportunity career program that lets you follow the state-of-
the-art technical or management path. (And you'll probably
make your way to the beach a lot, since we're headquartered
in Melbourne, on Florida's Atlantic Coast.)
If you're unable to schedule a campus interview, write
to Bill Hyland, Harris Semiconductor, College Relations
Supervisor, P.O. Box 883, Dept. CNA, Melbourne, Florida
32901. (Openings also exist in our San Francisco and
Poughkeepsie, New York facilities.)
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