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PLAINWELL, Mich. (WOOD) - The City of Plainwell will use $720,720 from a national foreclosure settlement to demolish the former Plainwell Paper Mill's wastewater treatment plant.
The City is among 34 entities in Michigan that have been awarded funding to help eliminate blight in their communities by tearing down vacant and abandoned properties.
The grant was awarded to the City for the project's ability to address the program goals: stabilize property values, promote future development and enhance public safety, according to a news release.
The wastewater treatment plant is located on the western portion of the property directly adjacent to the Kalamazoo River.
Economic Development Manager Emilie Schada commented that this will build on previous successes on the mill site, which include:
- Securing of a developer (Conestoga-Rovers & Associates) which included the relocation of CRA's U.S. Construction headquarters, bringing 50 jobs to the mill site
- $2,425,000 million in private investment
- Listing of the Plainwell Paper Site on the National Register of Historic Places
- Renovation of a 14,100 square foot building to house the City's Public Safety Department
- $1,000,000 Community Development Block Grant from the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) for demolition efforts
- $1,000,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) for demolition efforts
- $300,000 Site Restoration Grant from the MDEQ for demolition efforts
- $639,000 Infrastructure grant from the MEDC for parking improvements to Fannie Pell Park
Since 2010, Plainwell has secured outside investment (public and private) of $6,684,720 into the mill project. Plainwell Mayor Richard Brooks credits the numerous partners, both public and private, for the success.
"I cannot stress enough how much the State of Michigan, through the MEDC, MDNRE, Michigan Land Bank, MISHDA, Department of Health and Human Services, and many others, have helped propel the mill project forward. The accomplishments to date can certainly be credited to the successful partnerships the City enjoys."
Mayor Brooks further stated that "when factoring in investments from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in our Public Safety building as well as MDOT's reconstruction of M-89, we're looking close to $20 million going into making Plainwell a better place to live, work, and play."
The project is scheduled to start this spring and be complete by the fall.
A man is in jail, allegedly connected to 14 burglaries that occurred in Cass County this month.
A sheriff's deputy car and a Michigan State Police SUV were among the damaged vehicles.
Broadmoor Avenue has reopened after it was shut down due to a four-vehicle crash in Caledonia.