by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

 

The Durand City Council meeting chambers were overflowing with local residents for the Monday, June 5 council meeting, with many spectators spilling into the building’s lobby. Many residents hoped the city council would be able to provide more details regarding the possible construction of an industrial development in Vernon Township, with a handful of folks expressing their concerns about the large-scale project.

Durand City Manager Colleen O’Toole and City Attorney Charles McKone, primarily, explained the city’s position, but were limited in how much they could divulge due to a request for confidentiality from the project developers. O’Toole indicated she would “continue to urge the developers to be more forthcoming with information.”

O’Toole released the following statement on behalf of the city Tuesday morning, June 6: “As you probably already know, well before my time with the city, the city did option property in the proposed site plan area. The city also owns property that was designed and zoned as an industrial park. Those actions were intended to help the city attract new development in the area. More recently, we were approached by prospective developers who were interested in securing our options and in acquiring more for the purposes of a large industrial project. To that end, the properties we currently own and the ones the city has optioned have the potential to be a part of any new project.

“During a meeting I attended at Sheridan Realty & Auction, I stressed that we should all maintain an open mind until more information is available. The developers have suggested that the project would result in significant, high-paying job creation and a commercial tax base that would help alleviate the burden on area residents; as such I showed support for its consideration.

“At this time, we have not received any formal request from the developers regarding the property. What we have gleaned from conversations is that the project appears to still be highly speculative. The developers have asked that we maintain confidentiality because they are subject to a very stringent due diligence process before the project can even be officially considered. Myself and the council are doing our best to maintain that confidentiality where it is necessary, but we also deeply value our roles as agents of the public trust. We will continue to do what we can to make information available as it is presented to us.”

Durand Council Addresses Possible Industrial Project was last modified: June 12th, 2017 by Karen Elford