Possible action item for July 18 Commission meeting


IMLAY CITY — Although a general consensus appeared to be on the table between the Imlay City Commission and the owners of Sage Creek Winery, final details, with an agreement being worked out by lawyers, continues to stall the purchase process.

At a number of previous Commission meetings, City Manager Craig Horton joked the process was moving along well until lawyers from both sides became involved.

But, that is the case, as lawyers for the city and Sage Creek continue to iron out what both sides hope is an agreement to bring the Memphis-based production facility to Imlay City.

Following the Commission meeting July 5, Horton said, “the lawyers for Sage Creek are drawing up an agreement that we are hoping both sides can agree to. I am thinking we could have it on the agenda as an action item at the next meeting, July 18.”

Owners of the highly-successful winery business attended a commission meeting earlier this year and presented a business plan that would see them purchase three vacant buildings along Third Street, south of the police department.

Two of the buildings previously housed the Imlay City Fire Dept. and DPW.

At a meeting last month, a city attorney cautioned the board to not “give away” the property, rather come up with a fair and equitable price for both sides.

Horton updated the commission at their July 5 meeting, expressing optimism that a deal could be hammered out within weeks.

Also at the meeting, the board learned of plans to move forward with the Van Dyke and Fourth Street sewer project.

The $3.5 million dollar project is expected to get underway either later this month or next month.

It will include running a sewer line under M-53/Van Dyke Road. Horton said paperwork has been filed, seeking $1.7 million worth of assistance in funding from the State. The City has sold bonds for $1 million to cover their share of the project, with new sewer and water rates reflecting the improvements.

Imlay Township officials have decided to take their time in working with the city on a requested 425 agreement.

The city is looking to annex township property to the south and west of the city limits that, if approved, would clear the way for a new industrial park.

Horton said the township board will be conducting a workshop session amongst themselves and then request a similar meeting with the commission to iron out the final details.

As part of Police Chief Brett Selby’s Succession Plan, the commission has agreed to hire Javier Sanchez as an Imlay City police officer. Sanchez will be attending a police academy in Oakland County beginning in August.

Chief Selby reported to the board that he was able to secure a grant to cover all costs of Sanchez’ training and schooling, including uniforms.

Chief Selby also requested a second officer next budget year, which the board has agreed to consider.

The Imlay City Commission will meet again on Tuesday, July 18.