During the Monday, Nov. 15 Owosso City Council meeting, council members set two public hearings for the Monday, Dec. 6 meeting at 7:30 p.m. to consider rescinding tax breaks on the Wesener Building on N. Washington Street. The hearings are to gather input regarding an Obsolete Property Rehabilitation Exemption Certificate (OPRA) approved in 2013 and a Brownfield plan approved in 2010 (with amendments in 2010, 2011 and 2013). Both tax breaks involved incentivizing redevelopment of the 1886 Wesener Building, following a fire in July 2007.

   The two public hearing items were part of the consent agenda, so did not require council dialogue for approval.

   In 2011, Dave and Dianne Acton purchased the building. Dave Acton was on hand for the Monday evening meeting to offer his rationalization for continuing the tax breaks.

   Early in 2021, the city voted to permit the continuation of the OPRA tax credit until 2025 with the idea of allowing Acton the extra time to fill the jobs necessary to meet the OPRA criteria. In October, Acton entered into a lease with Connections2Careers to assist in filling those required positions. Connections2Careers is a nonprofit, events-planning business focused on training potential business owners in assorted fields such as operating a coffee shop or bookstore – filling the space vacated from Books & Beans inside the Wesener Building.

   Owosso City Manager Nathan Henne sent letters regarding the possible termination of both the OPRA and the Brownfield plan, addressed to Acton in mid-October.

   If approved following the public hearings at the Dec. 6 meeting at city hall, both tax breaks will be terminated effective Dec. 31, 2022.

Owosso Contemplates Revoking Tax Breaks on Wesener Building was last modified: November 30th, 2021 by Karen Elford