September 1, 2014

Road Commission looking to buy land from Standish

By Tim Barnum|Staff writer
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STANDISH — The Arenac County Road Commission (ACRC) is working with the city of Standish to possibly snatch up some land behind its current garage on M-61 in an effort to expand and, in the future, relocate from its current central garage in Omer.

“This building’s (in Omer) not in that good of shape,” said road commission manager/superintendent Blair Dyer, adding the Omer garage, as well as the current one in Standish, is also nearly too small for operations. “We definitely have to think of the future. You take advantage when something’s open.”

“They (ACRC) wanted 12 acres, but the area we have there is only 7.3 acres,” said Standish City Manager Mike Moran. “It’s just in the back of their current building.”

According to Dyer, the land behind the Standish garage, which he says is currently used for mechanical repairs and salt storage used to be a public airport.

“That was the last public airport in the county,” he said. “No one’s been flying in and out of there for a couple of years now.”

Moran says that he believes the ACRC, which houses its trucks and conducts business in its Omer garage, plans to level its current Standish garage and build a new one on the land that’s currently owned by the city if the commission purchases the land.

No prices have been negotiated yet between the city and road commission.

“I’m sure it’s (price) going to be reasonable,” Dyer said.

“I’m sure it’s (sale of land) going to happen,” Moran added. “I’m very optimistic that we have a deal.”

Omer City Mayor Alice Sproule says she hasn’t heard any complaints regarding the size or condition of the building in Omer, or plans by the ACRC to one day move shop to Standish, but says she would have remorse if it happened.

“We’d certainly hate to lose them (road commission),” she said. “They’ve been good neighbors in our community.”

The price of the land will be discussed at the next Standish City Council meeting on June 18.

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