By Maggie LaNoue
March 19, 2020
The Albion Economic Development Corporation hosted Albion’s 2020 Economic Forecast Thursday, March 5, at the Marriott Courtyard in downtown Albion.
There were more surprises and unknowns at forecast than in previous years.
The surprises included some local farmers near Albion landing windfalls without needing to farm, due to incoming solar farm developers. The City of Albion ended up with a $75,000 surplus over what had been budgeted. The surplus was somewhat of a surprise due to legal and other challenges. The unknowns were more in the keynote presentation on Calhoun County using economic data that was current as of the beginning of 2020. Much has changed in the economy since then.
The overall presentation included three distinct sections, near Albion, in Albion, and for Calhoun County. The information given included both recap of 2019 progress and outlining future predictions for 2020 and beyond. The keynote presentation was prepared by the W.E. Upjohn Institute that has been developing employment and other data for Michigan since 1945.
The Albion meeting, held at Courtyard by Marriott Hotel on Thursday, March 5, began with Albion Economic Development Corporate Chairman of the Board Herman McCall, who welcomed the group of about 125 people. Dr. McCall has over three decades of leadership experience in both the public and private human services field. He is also on the board of Homestead Savings Bank and lives in Albion.
He then introduced Richard Porter, Sheridan Township Supervisor, for the first section of the meeting.
Porter described the upcoming transformation of large parts Albion area’s farmlands to solar farms. The land parcels are primarily north and west of Albion.
Advanced Planning makes nearby Sheridan Township Future Home to Michigan’s Largest Field for Solar Power
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City of Albion Outlook
The second part of the meeting focused on the City of Albion. Mayor Dave Atchison and Chief Scott Kipp described their viewpoint of Albion’s bright future. They showed slides of accomplishments and goals to support their glowing predictions.
The third part and keynote of the meeting was a presentation by Jim Robey on the Economic Forecast for Calhoun County. Robey described the non-partisan and non-profit nature of the W.E. Upjohn Institute before declaring that we are experiencing the longest expansion (129 months) in modern times.
Each section of the meeting had slides with maps and data.