Schoolcraft company seeks tax break

By Steve Waldron

The Schoolcraft Village Council at a May meeting set a June 5 public hearing to consider approval of an industrial development district for Clark Logic. The company is considering building on a vacant lot on Grand St., adjacent to its existing building on Eliza.

Next would be approval of an industrial facilities tax exemption. State law permits local governments to reduce property taxes on new developments which meet a land use plan and add manufacturing jobs for a period of up to 12 years on real property including machinery, and up to six years on other personal property.

Hazardous buildings

Council members discussed progress toward repairing or demolishing two unsound buildings.
Village Manager Cheri Lutz said the owner of the former Schnauzer’s restaurant on Grand St., was notified in May, 2022 she was in violation of building codes and was given a list of needed repairs. In a district court hearing in April, she was given a list with deadlines: Construction to begin at the end of July, followed by continuous progress and completion by November. Completion of the listed projects would make the building safe, but not habitable, Lutz said. If the work isn’t completed, the building may be ordered demolished.

The village is also dealing with an unoccupied home considered a dangerous structure, also with a fixed time frame for required repairs. If the owner misses a step, including getting a building permit, it may be ordered demolished.

Water line funding

The village is exploring funding from a state drinking water revolving fund to develop two new well sites which would provide backup for the existing wells serving the village water system. It’s also considering seeking a loan from the fund to replace lead and copper water service lines at approximately 375 homes in the village. State law requires local governments to remove the pipes in all governmental units by 2041. Schoolcraft previously sought funds through a Kalamazoo County program but was shut out.

Lutz said the village is also looking at replacing aging water mains at the same time, and upgrading some four-inch mains, some of them perhaps a century old, with eight-inch mains.

The total ask is approximately $9 million, she said.

July 4 fireworks to resume

The Schoolcraft 4th of July Celebration Committee updated the Council on the Committee’s progress for the 2023 celebration. Parade participation invitations are being distributed and encouraging participants to sign up via on-line registration. This year, the Committee is charging a $25 fee to parade entrants with proceeds used to fund celebration expenses. The fireworks will be launched at The Dome on US-131 since the school site used in the past is undergoing construction.

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