Source: Sherman Publications

Council approves more environmental study for property

by Susan Bromley

February 29, 2012

Ortonville- The village council will continue to pursue the possible purchase of property at 255 Narrin St. for a potential waste water treatment facility.

The council unanimously approved moving forward with a phase II environmental study after a phase I study found petroleum-based products and waste oil at the site. Further investigation is needed to discover whether the soil is contaminated and to what extent.

Village Manager John Lyons told the council during their Feb. 27 meeting that the phase I environmental study conducted by WRG, Inc. of Lapeer of both 255 Narrin and 278 Narrin identified compounds on the 255 site including benzene toluene, ethyl benzene and xylene. The properties have been used in the past by vehicle repair facilities and other industries including a garbage company.

The phase I study cost the village $2,000. The phase II study will include 8-10 soil borings at a depth of 12 feet. Six samples will be analyzed for compounds and metals and WRG will give the village an evaluation of the contamination risk and recommendation. The council approved the phase II study at a cost not to exceed $5,850.

“If the study shows more contamination that requires clean-up, we can enter more negotiations with the bank for purchase of the property,” said Lyons. “The price is still well within reason. We could get our deposit back, but not the cost of the study.”

During their Jan. 23 meeting, the council unanimously approved a motion to pay $2,000 as a refundable deposit to Apex Company for the purchase of the property at 255 Narrin St. in the village. Apex, based in Pennsylvania, is a mortgage company that owns the property after a foreclosure. The original asking price was $104,000. After some negotiations, the village council and Apex have agreed on a price of $40,000.The sale is contingent on the environmental study results.

The village obtained 278 Narrin at no cost due to unpaid back taxes.

The council is considering both properties for a waste water treatment plant, which could be used to service businesses and residences within the village as well as Brandon Schools.

Council President Wayne Wills said the phase II study is part of “due diligence and money well-spent.”

Lyons was pleased the council was unanimous in their support of going forward with the study.

“We don’t want to be held responsible for what happened there in the past,” he said. “This study is a benchmark of what our responsibility would be. It’s a gamble, but not as much of a gamble as not paying for the study would be.”