Dowagiac City Council approves resolutions for brownfield development

Published 2:37 pm Tuesday, June 29, 2021

DOWAGIAC – The city council of Dowagiac is moving forward with its vision for brownfield redevelopment properties.

Monday, the council approved two resolutions to accept proposals with Envirologic, an environmental consulting firm for both the brownfield central middle school property and the Lincoln school property.

The Brownfield plan was adapted in 2006 and was done so that funds could be recouped through tax increment financing, when new development came around the property, but the 2008 recession caused businesses to shy away from the property. Development has taken longer than the city expected, but now the central middle school property has a medical office and other development coming to the property.

The proposed plan for the central middle school property is a restart on the tax increment finance plan. Now, with businesses around the property, the city will be able to start recouping the money that was originally spent to develop the property more than 10 years ago.

“This gives us a fresh start on the property,” said Dowagiac city manager Kevin Anderson. “Now that there is some new development taking place, we can start to recoup some of the money that was originally spent.”

The Lincoln school property proposal is to start a tax increment financing plan to clean up the building and grounds on the property. The building has sat empty for several years and needs many repairs, Anderson said.

“We look at the Lincoln property as a high priority,” Anderson said. “Windows are broken. The roof needs repaired, and the building is covered with plants and wildlife.”

To put the full development process in place it will cost $9,000 for the Lincoln property, with another $7,000 being available if needed to help finish developing the plan. Once the plan is developed, it will be sent to the state of Michigan and wait for approval.

“The central middle school plan is to be looked at as recouping money with the new developments that have come in and the Lincoln school plan is looked at as redevelopment because we are getting the property ready for new developments to come in,” Anderson said.

Also Monday, the council accepted a resolution to authorize a real estate agreement with Mottl Realty for the Michigan State Housing Development Authority modular home located at 505 Spruce St.