Sage Creek meeting set to discuss possible solutions


IMLAY CITY — What started out as an exciting business venture possibly coming to Imlay City, now has turned into a drawn out process that could result in a change of original plans.

Owners of the Memphis-based winery, Sage Creek, announced plans earlier this year to purchase city-owned property on Third St, across from the police department.

As the process has moved along, more and more roadblocks seemed to pop up with the biggest one being recent findings by the State environmental department of EGLE.

City Manager Craig Horton said there is a meeting scheduled for December 14 between city officials, Sage Creek owners and EGLE representatives.

The topic of conversation will be if a solution can be reached concerning the results of potential ground contamination at the former fire hall, DPW building and an old sign shop located just east of the two buildings.

“There is an issue with all three sites,” Horton told the Tri-City Times after the meeting. “The biggest concern is the old sign shop, but all three have some degree of contamination.”

Horton said everyone involved will be sitting down to see if they can reach a solution that would allow Sage Creek to move forward with their expansion plans in Imlay City.

“The old fire hall, where they have indicated they would like to move in and renovate first, has some minor issues,” Horton said after a recent commission meeting. “The area around the DPW building is a bigger concern, but the main thing we have to look at is the property around the old sign shop. There is significant contamination there.”

Horton told the Imlay City commission officials are looking at their options, including the possibility of Brownfield assistance and involving the Lapeer County Economic Development Corporation.

City officials have said years ago, large coal piles were stored behind the DPW building.

The topic of discussions at the meeting this week were to be to find a possible remedy to the three sites, including the potential demolition of the old sign shop building and capping the ground with pavement.

Horton said, “that is a possibility”, depending on costs and if it fits into what Sage Creek owners would like to do with the property.

There has been no finalized sale of the property as it will depend on test results and a response from the Liquor Control Commission.

A $50,000 price tag was placed on the property by city officials.

All parties involved are hoping to resolve the issue in a positive manner so the business venture can move forward.