Sage Creek project in attorney’s hands, state reports


IMLAY CITY — A proposed purchase of land by Imlay City, from a private owner, continues to inch closer towards a final deal, pending public hearings in both the city and township.

The city is hoping to purchase the 250-acre parcel which would allow them to expand an industrial park. The current park is filled, according to city officials.

At last week’s city commission, a brief update was given on the proposed deal. Both the city and township intend to conduct public hearings before anything is completed.

The transaction is known as a Conditional 425 Property Transfer Agreement.

The red-shaded area on this map shows the boundary lines of a 425 agreement between Imlay City and the Township.

“People need to understand, this is a deal between a private owner and the city. It is not an annexation,” Township Supervisor Rick Farkas said at a recent township meeting. “The property owner contacted the city originally.”

Attorneys for both sides are hammering out the final details. While the city stands to obtain 250 acres, the township will be receiving benefits as well, including utility connections.

Once attorneys for both entities finish their review, and public hearings are held, the contract will be ready to sign.

The property is located on both sides of Blacks Corners Road, south of Newark Road. The majority of the acreage (200 acres) is on the west side of the road. A small section of the proposed land (50 acres) is on the east side, adjacent to heavily-used soccer fields.

The property does not include the athletic fields that are just north of the I-69 expressway.

“Our current industrial park is filled to capacity,” Horton told the commission at a recent meeting. “We need to have more space so we can market Imlay City to potential businesses that may want to locate here.”

Under Article 111 of the agreement, Sharing of Taxes and Other Revenues, the city proposes paying the township three mills on taxable value of the transferred property during a period of 25 years. The township has countered with a request of 50 years and four mills.

In the 12-page document, the city anticipates having to install public services and other utilities in an infrastructure project that is estimated to cost four million dollars.

The economic development project, that is allowed under the Act 425 agreement, is commonly known as the Imlay City Expansion Project.

The 425 draft proposal goes on to say, “It is understood and agreed between the parties that the foregoing payments are for the purpose of compensating the Township of Imlay for lost revenues resulting from the transfer of the property to the City of Imlay City’s jurisdiction.”

While a few revisions of an agreement are expected to be further discussed, Horton told the city commission he remains confident an agreement with the township, that is fair to both sides, can soon be reached.

Before any deal is agreed to, Supervisor Farkas said the township intends to have at least one public hearing for residents to voice their concerns.

In other city commission news, an update on the Sage Creek project was given.

Attorneys for both sides are nearing agreement on final language of the contract and both sides are waiting on an environmental report from EGLE, regarding the soil conditions at the former DPW building on Third St.

The former fire hall is one of three buildings owners of Sage Creek are wanting to purchase to bring their successful winery business to Imlay City.

Imlay City has offered three parcels to Sage Creek at a cost of $50,000.