FLINT TWP. — Needed: Developers for vacant trailer parks, contaminated sites such as the former Glove Factory on Flushing Road or perhaps an upgrade of obsolete features such as the water slide at Pirate’s Park, the former recreational site on Miller Road.
All were mentioned at the Feb. 13 Economic Development Corporation meeting as possible projects for the township’s soon-to-be active Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA)
The EDC, which oversees the BRA, received its first draft of the project application form and will probably get the bylaws by its March 13 meeting.
The BRA is one part of a comprehensive economic development plan the township is undertaking. Plans to form a Downtown Development Authority and two Corridor Improvement Authorities are in progress with expectations to be in place by summer, if all goes according to plan. Each will have its own board.
The BRA is a separate entity focused on getting distressed, obsolete and contaminated properties back up to speed.
Establishing the BRA enables the township to create a brownfield financing resource, enhance local economic development capacities, and market difficult sites based on private investment incentives, said Janet Michaluk, brownfield coordinator for the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) who is working with the EDC to guide them through the BRA rules and regulations. The BRA is not a tax break for developers but rather a means to reimburse them for funds expended to rehabilitate a distressed property. Time limits and other conditions are determined on a case by case basis.
The draft of the project application form states that it is the first step in starting a brownfield process. There is no deadline for proposed projects applications which will be accepted on an ongoing basis.
Approval of an application by the BRA is not the same as approval of a brownfield project plan or requested Tax Increment Financing (TIF). The BRA also is not obligated to approved a brownfield plan after it has approved an application.
Once processed and approved by the BRA, an application fee will be assessed to the developer based on the total project investment, as follows:
$,3000 for projects costing up to $3 million
$4000 for projects between $5-10 million
And $5000 for projects valued at more than $10 million.
Assistance in completing the BRA form will be available from the township building department. A copy of the RA program guide will be available on the township website. It includes a checklist of items needed to be submitted with the application.
EDC members expressed interest in receiving a list of eligible brownfield sites and also wanted to know how to get the word out to developers. Tracey Tucker, economic enhancement director, said promoting the BRA would be included in marketing plans for other township economic development projects such as the DDA.