The Macomb Daily

Board rejects offers for Gratiot property

Highest bid was $500,000

- By Katelyn Larese klarese@medianewsg­

A “vital piece” of property that has been owned by Chesterfie­ld Township for nearly 100 years will remain in the township’s hands for the time being.

The Chesterfie­ld Township Board of Trustees voted 3-2 on Feb. 28 to reject all bids from potential buyers and retain ownership of property located on Gratiot Avenue, just south of Chesterfie­ld Road. Six bids were submitted, with a high offer of $500,000.

“I think there’s a better opportunit­y for the township financiall­y in the future,” said Chesterfie­ld Township Supervisor Brad Kersten, who made the motion to reject all bids and hold on to the property.

“We are in no hurry to develop this,” he added. “We are in no hurry to move it, and it’s been in the inventory since 1929. I’m very comfortabl­e with just sitting on it again and bringing it back in the future.”

Comprised of 2.27 acres, the property was previously used by the township for a department of public works facility, offices, police, vehicle maintenanc­e and repair, and vehicle and equipment storage. Buildings on the property have been razed, and two undergroun­d storage tanks — a 5,000-gallon diesel fuel tank and a 10,000-gallon gasoline tank — were removed in late 2017.

“It doesn’t cost us anything,” the supervisor said. “The costs for maintenanc­e

have been removed; the buildings have been razed. It is a vacant parcel.”

Kersten’s motion was supported by Trustee Kathy Vosburg, with trustees Hank Anderson and David Joseph dissenting. Clerk Cindy Berry and Trustee Brian Scott DeMuynck were absent.

“What is the intent?” Joseph asked, referring to the motion to reject all bids. “Will we continue to leave that vital piece of property off the tax rolls? Are we so wealthy that we can just leave that in our portfolio dormant in perpetuity or do we actually plan on taking some action and putting this revenue back to the taxpayers, who really are the ones who are sitting watching their corner go empty with no revenue?”

Vosburg said she expected to see higher offers.

“I thought it was going to bring more revenue,” she said. “It’s currently off the books, so we’re not losing anything by not doing it.”

The township received the following six bids for the property:

• Mazin Samona, of Troy, on behalf of an entity to be formed later: $500,000

• Kizy Kizy of Chesterfie­ld Township: $350,100

• Gino & Viola Morelli LLC, based in Clinton Township: $237,500

• Semco Energy, based in Port Huron: $152,000

• Chesterfie­ld Real Estate Holdings LLC, based in Utica: $151,377

• Haggards Plumbing and Heating, based in Charlevoix, $15,500 A request for proposals to purchase the property was put out in January, with bids due Feb. 3 and opened Feb. 13. The board of trustees on Feb. 14 voted 5-2 to postpone considerat­ion of bids until the Feb. 28 meeting, with Joseph and Trustee Hank Anderson dissenting.

At the Feb. 14 meeting, Berry urged against rejecting all bids and voiced support for selling the property to the highest bidder.

“The hands have been shown, and I don’t think we are going to see a higher number than that $500,000,” she said on Feb. 14.

The RFP states the township “reserves the right to reject any and all bids for any reason or no reason and/or select a bidder on the basis of all relevant factors.”

 ?? COURTESY OF GOOGLE EARTH ?? The Chesterfie­ld Township-owned property is located at 50177 Gratiot Ave.
COURTESY OF GOOGLE EARTH The Chesterfie­ld Township-owned property is located at 50177 Gratiot Ave.

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