Developer eyes Lodal property in Kingsford

KINGSFORD — An environmental study is planned that may clear the way for sale and potential development of property owned by Lodal Inc. in Kingsford’s industrial park.

The city council on Monday authorized City Manager Tony Edlebeck to sign papers that will enable a developer to accept a $60,000 site assessment grant from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. The brownfield assessment is needed if the developer is to secure financing.

The parcel in the former Ford Motor Co. complex includes 38 acres and numerous buildings, Edlebeck said. Lodal , a refuse hauler manufacturer, now occupies only about two-thirds of the structures, he estimated. The identity of the potential developer has not yet been released.

The city is serving as a pass-through agency for the brownfield grant and has committed no funding of its own, Edlebeck said. If there are no glitches, he added, the sale could be completed before the end of the year.

Talks between the city and the developer began about a year ago and a grant application was submitted in April. The council’s action Monday authorizes Edlebeck to sign the grant documents once he and City Attorney Bruce Brouillette are satisfied with terms.

The Kingsford council Monday also:

— Learned that residents have submitted a petition objecting to Matthew Borchardt’s application for a home business permit at 491 Riverhills Road. Borchardt proposes online sales of sporting goods and hunting gear, including gun parts and potentially firearms as regulated by federal law, anticipating less than one customer visit per week. A public hearing is set for 6:45 p.m. Sept. 5.

Riverhills Road resident Suellen Inglese told the council she worries the business would cause traffic problems on the dead-end street. Inglese said she will be unable to attend the hearing, which will be just after the Labor Day weekend.

Mayor Joe Groeneveld noted that written comments on the application, pro or con, will continue to be accepted.

— Endorsed transferring an Industrial Facilities Exemption certificate from Oldenburg Group Inc. to the new owner of the property, Lakeshore Systems Inc. The certificate, which provides a 50 percent reduction in property taxes, is for Lakeshore’s technology center in Kingsford, acquired during last year’s sale of Oldenburg’s underground mining equipment and defense businesses. The IFE was granted in 2007 and is set to expire in 2020. There were no comments during a public hearing. The IFE transfer request for the 10-acre parcel on Evergreen Court will now go to the state.

— Received two bids to replace four service doors at the Kingsford Public Safety Department. The work will go to the low bid of $7,495 from Superior Steel Systems of Iron Mountain, provided it meets specifications. The steel doors date back to construction of the building in 1973. The only other bidder was St. George Glass of Iron Mountain, at $9,000. The city had budgeted up to $10,000 for the replacement.

— Heard Edlebeck report the city expects delivery today of its new fire truck built by Pierce Manufacturing of Appleton, Wis., at a cost of nearly $362,000. Once KPS has completed training on the new truck, the city will put a 1980 secondary truck up for sale, keeping a 1997 model as the backup.

— Adopted a resolution establishing a managed archery deer hunt within city limits from Oct. 1 through Jan. 1. Participating hunters are required to register with the city and demonstrate archery proficiency. The hunt is limited to designated parcels of 7 acres or more. The city has had annual hunts since 2010 to cull the herd in cooperation with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. The city will acquire up to 65 antlerless permits from the DNR at a cost of $10 each, down from a cost that once had been as high as $20 per permit. Last year, hunters harvested 43 deer.

— Heard Edlebeck report that the Michigan Municipal League Liability and Property Pool has refunded $7,920 to the city, its share of $2.2 million in equity being returned to members of the insurance pool.

— Scheduled a public hearing for 6:45 p.m. Sept. 18 on B&T Properties’ application for a zoning variance at 504 Sterling St. to replace a deck that exceeds setback requirements.