Library opposes Brownfield Plan for Revival Commons

By: 
JIM LINCOLN

Tecumseh City Council held a public hearing on Monday for a proposed brownfield site at the former Tecumseh Products property to help fund a projected $76.5 million environmental cleanup project. The designation will help incentivize development of the 55-acre site, according to city manager Dan Swallow.

According to the brownfield plan, prepared by the Tecumseh Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, a proposed $68 million redevelopment of the property, to be called Revival Commons, will include light industrial, warehousing, professional offices, commercial and retail uses. A closing on the sale of the property is expected soon, potentially this month, according to Swallow, between developer and buyer Jason Miller and seller Tecumseh Food Machinery & Equipment LLC.

As a brownfield site, future increases in property taxes will be reimbursed to the property owner to help cover a portion of the cleanup costs. Reimbursements are expected to reach $11 million over a period of 30 years, which is the maximum period for a brownfield program.

The current taxable value for the property at 100 E. Patterson St. is $604,800 based on a true cash value of $1,216,018.

Under plans presented by Miller, significant portions of the older buildings on the property will be demolished, which will lower the current total taxable value for land and buildings to $479,349.

Based on the new taxable value, Revival Commons will pay $29,873 in annual property taxes, which will be dispersed to:

City operating fund (14.39 mills), $6,898; city road fund, (1.96 mills), $940; LISD (7.27 mills), $3,485; State Ed (6 mills), $2,876; Tecumseh Schools (18 mills), $8628; School Debt (7.2 mills) $3,451; School Rec/Pool (0.25 mills), $120; County Operating (4.94 mills), $2,368; Dept. on Aging (0.73 mills), $350; Med Care (.18 mills), $86; Tecumseh District Library (1.35 mills), $647; and Veterans’ Relief (.05 mills, $24.

During the public hearing, Tecumseh District Library director Gayle Hazelbaker spoke on behalf of the library board in opposition to the brownfield plan. “It’s hard to justify taking tax dollars away from public institutions,” Hazelbaker said.

In an interview Tuesday, Hazelbaker said she agrees that the property should be redeveloped, but would like the city to find another way to fund it.

“The library has never wanted to participate in tax capture programs. We take very seriously the stewardship of tax dollars,” Hazelbaker said.

At the meeting, Swallow explained that the library would not lose any tax dollars it currently receives, only the amount of future taxes that would be a result of increases from the current base.

Tecumseh District Library currently receives $755,416 in tax revenue from millage originally approved in 2003, when the rate was 1.15 mills. In 2013, voters approved a renewal of the millage along with an increase to 1.35 mills. Additional funding is received from penal fines and state aid. The 2016-17 budget for the local library is $860,703.

City council will vote on the brownfield proposal at the August 1 meeting.

In other council news:

• Council approved an extension of a contract with Rehmann Robson for auditing services through June 30, 2021 at an annual cost of  $22,410. An additional audit fee of $1,125 will be paid annually for the water/sewer study and TCA financial model update.

• A requirement by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality to conduct a water reliability study every five years is due following the last study in 2011. Council approved a contract with Tetra-Tech, of Ann Arbor, to conduct the study at a cost not to exceed $18,900. The goal of the study is to identify needs and recommended system upgrades over the next 20 years. The study does not test water quality conditions, just the components of the water the system.

• Two events in October that require the closing of public streets received council approval. South Maumee Street, from Mohawk to Russell Road, will be closed On October 1 from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. for the ididit Annual Car Show. Approximately 800 cars are expected to arrive for the event. Council also approved the closing portions of South Evans, Logan, Ottawa and Pearl streets with restricted lanes on Chicago Boulevard for the Appleumpkin Festival on October 8-9.

• The city is asking residents to avoid early morning watering for lawn irrigation between the hours of 5-8 a.m., which is the peak period for water use. “The extended dry period and increased lawn irrigation by city water system users is causing strain on the system components, including water mains and pumps,” said Swallow.

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Tecumseh Herald

 

110 E. Logan St.
P.O. Box 218
Tecumseh, MI 49286
517-423-2174
800-832-6443

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