As far back as many can remember, the city’s property at 229 Stover Road in Charlevoix has been rather unsightly.
Occupied by construction equipment and raw materials, the site is located at the corner of Ferry Road in front of the city’s boat launch on Lake Charlevoix.
It is in the middle of some of the region’s main waterfront real estate; a few blocks west is the historic Belvedere Summer Club.
Needless to say, the next door neighbors don’t like it very much.
“Throughout my time here as City Manager, I have always had people complaining about the site,” said City of Charlevoix Director Mark Heydlauff.
While less visually appealing, the property has in fact provided vital service for decades. It has been the headquarters of the Department of Public Works – the city team whose members clear snow in the winter, pick up garden clippings in the summer, and repair roads (among many other tasks). The neighborhood was once occupied by other industrial enterprises and a railroad ran nearby, but over time the area has evolved into residential housing and public parks, according to historical and city officials. But while the surrounding plots have turned into suburbs and playgrounds, the seat of public works has remained the same; serving as a desk, storage for snow plows, city vehicles, road salt, picnic tables and benches and many other items.
However, with the recent construction of the new public works facility on Carpenter Street, the long-standing headquarters on Stover Road will soon be vacated.
After the move to Carpenter Street was completed, city officials decided to demolish everything on the site and restore the land as much as possible.
The buildings at the site are expected to be demolished in the coming months. The work will include the removal of all existing structures and reclassification of the site to drain it properly and the installation of earth and grass seedlings, according to city documents.
At the end of April, the city announced sealed bids for the work, and at the end of March, opened five bids from northern Michigan construction companies. Bids varied widely, the lowest at $ 43,669 and the highest at $ 191,580. The city decided to award the project contract to Bolle Contracting, the company with the lowest bid.
The city has indicated that it also has the option of covering part of the costs through a burn elimination grant through Michigan’s Ready-to-Use Community Redevelopment Program (for which the city has recently certified). Almost 20 years ago, environmental measures were taken to minimize pollutants that could have contaminated the land there, according to Heydlauff. Despite this, it should be considered a brownfield site for any future development effort.
With demolition on the horizon, city officials will have to figure out how best to use the land. Many suggestions have already been made on the future of this site, including housing, expansion of the park space, relocation of the skate park, expansion of the launch parking lot or sale. outright, as discussed at the April 19 board meeting. seek public input and plan a public engagement process to help build community consensus on the way forward.
City officials will consider the next step at the 6 p.m. council meeting on May 3 at City Hall.