HARRISVILLE - A building owned by the U.S. Forest Service, leased to Tawas City's Natural Resources Conservation, and sub-leased to Alcona Soil Conservation District may soon become the property of Alcona County, either through a long-term lease or an actual purchase. The Alcona County Board of Commissioners has been looking for a way to secure the building for use in its impeding office restructuring, and board members voted on Wednesday to send a letter to the U.S. Forest Service about taking over a lease from ASCD.
The building, located at 320 State Street in Harrisville, currently houses the offices of ASCD, the Department of Veteran Affairs, and Alcona MSU Extension and could take on the housing commission as well depending on the final restructuring plans for county offices. Board Chair Kevin Boyat said a five- to 10-year lease would be ideal, though the county would be willing to buy the building if the forest service dropped its price.
"We're going to try to get a long-term lease so we're secure in the building, and MSU and Soil Conservation can know they're going to have a home for the next few years. Then maybe when it comes down, we'll possibly think about buying it, and that would be a nice thing," he said.
ASCD would terminate its current lease, which is good for two more years, if the forest service and NRC allowed the county to sign a new one. How much this would cost and how soon it would happen depend upon their response to the county's letter.
In other business:
"Michigan Agri-Business and Farm Bureau are in favor of the bridge, because they see a way of selling our Michigan farm products to China and Europe through the deepwater port that's being built in Nova Scotia, so think about the bridge before you come out negative or positive on it," he said. "I think it's a good thing for our plants in Alpena, Lafarge wants to sell cement, other people want to sell aggregate, and there's 6,000 jobs for four years that will be on this bridge, so it's a pretty decent thing."
Andrew Westrope can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5693.