$220K grant to aid new deli, post office in Ossinke

News Photo by Crystal Nelson This property where the U.S. Post Office in Ossineke and a former craft barn are located will be redeveloped with the help of a $200,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant. A gas station once located there contaminated the property.

OSSINEKE — Sanborn Township has received a $220,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant to clean up and redevelop a former gas station so a new building for the U.S. Post Office and a deli can be constructed.

The contaminated former gas station was located just north of Mr. Ed’s IGA on U.S.-23.

Gary Stephan, of Stephan Investments, owns the property, where the post office and a former craft barn are located. Stephan said he plans to tear down the former craft barn and construct a new building in its place.

Plans are that the post office will then relocate to that new building, where a new deli will open, as well. The building where the post office is currently located will be torn down after the move.

Stephan and his wife, Connie, also own Dinosaur Gardens and Connie’s Cafe.

He said people in Ossineke need to be able to get fresh meats or produce, and there’s currently no place for quick-serve after 2 p.m., with the exception of a Subway restaurant. He said the deli would compliment what they’re doing at Connie’s Cafe by making that restaurant’s food available in the deli after the restaurant closes.

The deli will offer fresh meat and produce, along with freshly baked breads and quick-serve meals like subs, salads, pizza, and roasted chicken, Stephan said.

“Ossineke has been an incredible community and supportive of myself and Connie for many years,” he said. “It’s because of the citizens of Ossineke that really drives us to go and improve the community and want to make it a better place for the people living there.”

The $300,000 redevelopment will create 12 new jobs, according to a press release from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy.

The groundwater and soil was tested by staff from EGLE’s Gaylord District Office, which found gasoline contamination from a leaking underground storage tank. The grant will pay for contaminated soil disposal, blighted building demolition, a vapor barrier, and a ventilation system to prevent exposure to harmful vapors.

Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or cnelson@thealpenanews.com.