2010-10-14 / Front Page

Economic incentive plan dropped by Twp. Board

BY AMANDA BRANIECKI 810-452-2647 • ABRANIECKI@MIHOMEPAPER.COM

GRAND BLANC TWP. — Original plans for an economic incentive program in Grand Blanc Township were scrapped Tuesday night as the Township Board now looks in a new direction.

In August, Township Planner Mike Deem proposed the board implement an incentive program to draw new businesses to the area surrounding NCG Trillium Cinemas along Holly Road by giving away 300 Residential Equivalency Units (REU), which calculates the amount of water a business would use compared to a normal household, for free or a reduced rate. However, after digging deeper into what the overall effect of that proposed program would have, Deem found the initial proposal was not right for the township at this time.

“Every time we look at (the proposed program), we can’t get the numbers to work with following through with the original options,” Deem said.

Instead, Deem proposed to the board at their Tuesday meeting that they restructure their payment plan for the REUs.

Currently, the township offers three different payment options for businesses. The first option is for business owners to pay in full up-front. The second option allows owners to put 20 percent down up-front and finance the remaining 80 percent over 10 years. Lastly, businesses can take part in the metering program which requires them to pay 50 percent of their cost based on the chart of REUs and then pay 25 percent the following year with the remaining balance being paid off when the metering is completed.

Deem would like the board to consider combining the metering program with the 20 percent financing option.

“If we look at the payment plans and combine the 20 percent down with the metering program, it would lessen the up-front burden of businesses,” Deem said. “Also, the township would still be receiving money for future projects as well, which is what tap-in fees do.”

Despite his first proposal falling through, Deem said he believes the township is close to finding a positive solution that would benefit not only future businesses, but the community as well.

“I think that right now this is the best direction for us to be looking,” Deem said. “Although I still believe ultimately that the best way would be to go through with this plan to forgive the REUs, right now is not the right time according to our funds.”

For each REU, the township charges a total of $5,800, which covers the $3,200 for sewer hookup and $2,600 for water hookup. In addition to the township charges, Genesee County also charges an extra $2,000 per REU.

The board will continue to discuss ideas for an economic incentive program in their coming meetings.

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