Village Council Takes Steps to Approve Brownfield Plan

vix brownfield 1
Presenters for the Brownfield Plan associated with the Mill project are from left: Rachael Grover, Lisa Phillips and Ken Peregon the chairperson of the Kalamazoo County Redevelopment Brownfield Authority.

By Sue Moore

The Transformational Brownfield Plan associated with the proposed Paper City development at 300 W. Highway Street at The Mill was approved by the Vicksburg Village Council at its first meeting in January. Representatives of the Kalamazoo County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority outlined the steps needed for the Plan to receive final approval. Following local government approval, the Plan will be submitted to Kalamazoo County for its approval, and then on to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation and the Michigan Strategic Fund for final approvals.

The brownfield is half in the village, half in Schoolcraft Township, so the township’s board also needed to vote approval at its January board meeting, said village President Bill Adams. He told the Vicksburg Brownfield committee members that they were the first step in the request for the approval process. The Kalamazoo County Board of Commissioners will have the request on its agenda in March.

Rachael Grover, administrator of the county Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, explained that upon approval of the plan state and local taxes can be used to reimburse eligible brownfield activities to remediate the site. The transformational aspect of the Plan would bring an additional $10 million in state taxes to reimburse these eligible costs after completed.

This Transformational Brownfield Plan is Kalamazoo County’s first submittal and may be the second approved in the state. Tax capture begins five years after the plan is approved. After 31 years of tax capture to reimburse eligible expenses, it is estimated that local tax jurisdictions would see more than $500,000 per year in additional tax revenue. “If nothing is done to the site, there would never be any revenue and only a dilapidated building to deal with,” Village Manager Jim Mallery pointed out. “The property owner is paying the increase in taxes each year as The Mill increases in value,” Grover said.

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