October 26, 2014

City, townships move closer to running water to development area

Tim Barnum
Signs in front of the old Sunrise Cafe along M-13 signify the new businesses coming to the area.
By Tm Barnum
Staff writer
Posted

STANDISH TOWNSHIP — Multiple developments by the Migizi Corporation, a developmental entity of the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe, are still being delayed due to the lack of water and sewer utilities available to the property where a new hotel, gift shop mall and truck stop restaurant will be erected, but the involved parties are getting closer to working out a deal — possibly at the expense of 2-percent funds.

The involved parties include a franchise made up of Standish Township, Lincoln Township and the City of Standish; and the Migizi Corporation. All four are working on a way to keep the cost as light as possible for each party.

“We’re looking at grants and possibly some 2-percent money (from the Tribe as part of its class 3 gaming revenue sharing promise),” said Lincoln Township Supervisor Dave Hertz-berg. “We don’t have nothing concrete yet.”

But according to Standish City Clerk Becky Lakin, a Sept. 3 meeting at the Saganing Tribal Center produced some results, as representatives from the city and both townships agreed to use a portion of funds from the tribe to pay for a feasibility study of the developmental land.

“We’re working on trying to get a study going to find the capacity for water and sewer utilities out there,” said Standish Township Supervisor Jeff Trombley. “We’re working on it as fast as we can. … It takes time. … You got to do it right.”

Lakin says the feasibility study would determine how feasible the land is for not only currently planned developments, but future ones that would tap into the water line going from city limits out to the properties on M-13. Lakin added feasibility studies usually cost between $2,000 and $20,000, depending on the size of the area assessed. One done for the Saganing Eagle’s Landing Casino property, she said, cost $5,000 and was paid for by the Tribe.

“The feasibility study is actually the first step,” she said. “We’re just trying to foresee things down he road.”

Lakin says even before the feasibility study was proposed, though, the townships and city had to make sure everyone was in agreement with what the water lines would provide.

“We all want to make sure we’re on the same page. … Are they (townships) going to allow for commercial building and industrial building?” Lakin said. “Both the townships want growth and they want development.”

“You think that property between the cloverleaf (freeway exchange) and the casino isn’t going to develop?” Trombley said. “The township can either be proactive and do something now or we can wait until there’s a headache.”

Because of the hope for growth, Lakin says the plan is to put a 12-inch water pipe out to the developmental area on M-13, since smaller pipes, like an originally-proposed eight inch one, wouldn’t allow as many property-owners to tap into it.

“A lot of water’s going to be needed in the area,” Hertzberg said.

“The 12 inches might even exceed to 16 inches,” Lakin added.

And after the line is implemented, each business or home that taps into it will provide some revenue for the City of Standish and either Standish Township or Lincoln Township, depending on where the home or business is located.

“What’s in it for the city would be the revenue for the water,” Lakin said. She added depending which township a new development is located in, that township will reap the benefits of property taxes.

But while the pipe size and payment for the feasibility study have come closer to being settled, it hasn’t been determined yet who would actually pay for the line installation.

“It’s not in stone yet, who's paying for that,” Lakin said, adding the city is hoping the Tribe will put up the funds for the line that would allow them to open numerous businesses. “The townships are agreeing with that.”

Lakin says a joint application amongst the franchise will be filed for 2-percent funding to be used for a feasibility study during the next Standish City Council meeting on Sept. 15. The deadline to file for 2-percent class-three revenue funds from the Saginaw-Chippewa Indian Tribe is the end of September.

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