Brownfield Development Authority OK’d

FLINT TWP. — The old K-mart site on Miller Road, abandoned gas stations and trailer parks and a defunct glover factory on Flushing Road all were mentioned as potential redevelopment targets in a discussion prior to the township board approving the creation of a Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA).

Prior to a public hearing, Janet Michaluk, Brownfield coordinator for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)), gave a presentation to the board about how Brownfield Redevelopment works, including tax-incremental financing to attract investors.

Michaluk explained that in Michigan, brownfield redevelopment extends beyond ground-contaminated sites to include blighted and abandoned or functionally obsolete sites. Eligible properties in Flint Township would be identified on a case-by-case basis by the newly formed BRA. It has been suggested that the township’s Economic Development Corporation also serve as its BRA.

Creating the BRA is a redevelopment tool for township distressed sites, said Tracey Tucker, township economic enhancement director. The county’s brownfield program is no longer functioning so it is up to individual municipalities to form their own authority to capture brownfield funding.

The BRA will work in tandem with the township’s Master Plan and other economic development initiatives, Tucker said.

Brownfield Redevelopment plans are set up to attract developers to distressed sites that might otherwise be passed over. Developers are reimbursed for investing in rehabilitating the property. After that rehab investment is repaid, all taxes from the improved property then return to township coffers.

The township board approved a resolution to create the BRA. The document also states that the BRA will be under the supervision and control of the EDC board.

That board will prepare a Brownfield Plan for eligible properties and submit it to the township board for consideration.

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