THESE 10 ACRES of county-owned land connecting the Shiawassee County Medical Care Facility property in Corunna with the Corunna water tower will soon be sold to the city of Corunna. The county agreed to trade the property to the city of Corunna in exchange for the city waiving the $6,500 monthly rental fee it had imposed on the county earlier this year for the use of the Norton Street properties that house the county’s youth center, Buildings and Grounds office, MSU Extension office and Drain Commission.
(Independent Photo/Graham Sturgeon)
by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor
The Shiawassee County Board of Commissioners announced on Monday, Sept. 10 that an agreement has been reached with the city of Corunna regarding the transition of the former Pleasant View property from the county to the city. The property, which is located on Norton Street in Corunna, reverted to the city on Feb. 1 of this year after the Shiawassee County Medical Care Facility (Pleasant View) vacated the property in favor of a new facility in The Commons off M-21 and State Road.
Upon receiving the property back from the county, city of Corunna officials took issue with the condition of the facility, and they were unhappy that several substantial items were removed and either repurposed or sold by the county, such as a large generator, a security card system and fixed cabinets. Additionally, the cabinets and other fixtures were removed rather haphazardly, leaving gaps in the floor, missing ceiling tiles and exposed plumbing and electrical.
In response, the city of Corunna terminated the no consideration month-to-month lease it had previously granted the county and imposed a monthly rental fee of $6,500 for the Norton Street properties, which house the MSU Extension office and the county’s youth center, Buildings and Grounds office and Drain Commission.
City of Corunna officials felt disrespected, which caught many commissioners off guard. District 4 Commissioner Brandon Marks explained in June, after the city of Corunna notified the county board of the new rental fee, that anything taken from the Medical Care Facility was repurposed in other county offices, and he expressed regret for having unintentionally offended the city of Corunna. Marks was confident that the two sides would straighten out their differences, as were most of his peers.
“I am very happy to have resolved this issue,” Commissioner Bartz said following the Wednesday, Sept. 12 meeting. “There was some conflict between the city of Corunna and the Board of Commissioners, and I think a lot of it was just due to lack of communication. I think we have worked everything out, and I hope that the city of Corunna and the Board of Commissioners can return to having a good working relationship going forward.”
In the new deal, the city will waive the rental fee through the end of 2019, in exchange for 10 acres of land adjacent to the Medical Care Facility property and the Corunna water tower, along Norton Street and Lyons Road.
While they negotiated with the city of Corunna, the commissioners were also moving forward with a plan to address the county’s shortage of governmental office space by constructing an 8,400-square-foot building to house the Drain Commission and Buildings and Grounds. The facility will share the 25 acres of county-owned property – located on N. State Street in the city of Corunna – with the county’s parole/probation/work release center.
The current plan is to put the youth center and the MSU Extension office in the lower level of the 66th District Court building in Corunna, which will be vacant after the Health Department moves into the James Capitan Center in early 2019, following the ongoing $1.2 million expansion project.
During the Committee of the Whole meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 12, the board selected a bid from Perrin Construction, of Durand, the lowest of three bids submitted for the construction of the new facility on State Road. The commissioners opened the three bids – from Perrin Construction, Lynnman Construction and Mallory Building Contractors – on Monday, Sept. 10. After reviewing the bids on Wednesday, the commissioners chose Perrin’s bid of $448,940, which was significantly lower than Lynnman’s bid of nearly $600,000 and Mallory’s bid that came in closer to $700,000.
In addition to being located in Shiawassee County and submitting the lowest bid, Perrin benefited from their practice of hiring almost exclusively Shiawassee County-based sub-contractors. Perrin is in the process of constructing the Capitan Center expansion, so the commissioners have experienced first-hand the professionalism and quality of work Perrin Construction is known for. Each firm also submitted a detailed facility design proposal, with few differences among the three. Commissioner Bartz did note, however, that he appreciated that Perrin favored an asphalt shingled roof over a steel roof, which Bartz hopes will make the facility look more like an office than a barn.
A start date for the project has not yet been determined, but the board has emphasized that the facility must be completed and ready for occupancy before the end of 2019.