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Alcona County gets grant for development

HARRISVILLE — The Alcona County Board of Commissioners has received a $131,000 grant to aid in the redevelopment of the former Harrisville Auto and Sports Center property at 216 S. U.S.-23.

It isn’t immediately clear what might go on the site. County board Chairman Craig Johnston on Wednesday said plans are in the works to redevelop the property into a campground. Developer Jeff Dameworth told commissioners in March — when he was still negotiating the purchase of the property — that he was considering some office space and a convenience store or a storage facility for the property.

“The potential is that it encourages a developer to purchase it and redevelop it into something new and providing jobs,” Johnston said of the Brownfield grant the county received from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy on Wednesday. “I think this could potentially be providing four to six jobs.”

The grant will cover the cost of a baseline environmental assessment, which will determine the extent of contamination on the site. State and county officials know the soil was contaminated by gasoline from an underground storage tank that was leaking.

Johnston said the assessment would ultimately give the property “a clean bill of health” or determine the extent of the cleanup needed.

Brownfield grants help local governments remediate properties known to have environmental contamination.

The News previously reported state officials have identified at least 15 sites in Alcona County with leaking underground storage tanks that are eligible for Brownfield grants.

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