OCEANA COUNTY, Mich. (WZZM)- Muskegon's Michigan Steel has purchased the closed Carlton Creek Ironworks in Rothbury and expects to return the facility to production in the first quarter of 2012. The foundry in Oceana County closed in 2009. At one time there were active talks to raze the facility.
Michigan Steel President and CEO Christopher Moein believes the foundry has a bright future. Moein already has a few employees on site to get the property ready to return to production. When the company does return, it will be known as Rothbury Steel, and will be considered a sister company to Michigan Steel. If production orders for steel castings match company expectations there could be 300 workers by 2013.
Rothbury Steel will supply parts to manufacture tractors, trucks, mining equipment, and other heavy machinery.
The announcement is creating a buzz in the village of Rothbury.
At Dips N Dogs owner Dan VenHuizen says he purchased the small restaurant with hopes the community would rebound. In recent years VenHuizen watched as the Double JJ Ranch closed, followed by the foundry. The two businesses were the only big employers near the village.
With the ranch back in business and the foundry on its way to returning, VanHuizen thinks the community is starting the rebound he hoped for.
Rothbury Steel is expected to hold job fairs starting this year. Initially the company expects to hire between 150 to 200 employees.
By Jon Mills