City holds public hearings for Main Street building


CHEBOYGAN – On Tuesday, September 28, Cheboygan City Council has scheduled two public hearings regarding obsolete properties related to the building at 334 and 336 N. Main St., Melody’s Lane gift store.

The first public hearing scheduled for the Oct. 12 city council meeting was for council members to consider creating an obsolete property rehabilitation district. This neighborhood is allowed to be established within the boundaries of the property description of the building, in accordance with Public Law 146 of 2000.

“We have approved a grant for this project,” said Cheboygan City Manager Dan Sabolsky. “It should have been done at the same time as the grant approval, but was not.”

Sabolsky said city officials are expected to see more requests such as creating the obsolete property rehabilitation district before them, as more developments are made in the city center.

“I think there are probably four or five more in the pipeline that are going to go through the same process,” he said.

Council members voted unanimously to approve the schedule for the public hearing on the possibility of creating the rehabilitation district.

If the city were to establish the district for the legal description of the property, this would allow the developer of the property to claim a tax allowance, freezing the assessed value of the property at its current level for a specified number of years. It would also allow the developer to put more money into their project.

The second public hearing that was approved for the October 12 council meeting was to consider a request from the Melody’s Lane building developer for an obsolete property rehabilitation exemption certificate. Council members voted unanimously to approve the schedule for this hearing.

This rehabilitation district is very similar to the commercial rehabilitation districts that have already been created by the council in the past, allowing renovations to take place in some outdated buildings in the city center. One of these quarters had been created in the old Johnson’s Studio building to help replace the old tube and button electrical systems.

The maximum number of years that an allowance can be granted under this program is 12 years, whereas with a commercial rehabilitation district, the number of years that can be granted can be up to 10. The number of years during which the allowance is granted is generally based on the amount of the investment in the building.

One company – Big Water – owns the Melody’s Lane gift shop, which is the former Purple Tree bookstore and cafe. Earlier this year, city council approved grant funding through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation for a community development block grant. This grant funding will be used to build five apartments in the two buildings, which are joined together.

The city would actually be considered the grant applicant and would handle the funding for the investor. The grant funding will go to the town of Cheboygan, and then the money will go to the investor for the completion of the works.

Four apartments will be built on the first floor of the building, then a disabled-accessible apartment will be built at the rear, lower level of the building.

The renovations and construction of the apartments will include new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems, as well as improvements to the cabinets, counters, insulation, flooring and windows of the apartments. More than half of the apartments will also be designated as low to moderate income housing, for a total investment of $ 686,800 between private funding and grant funding.

Council will consider these two options at the October 12 city council meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. Council members will also collect public comments on these projects during public hearings.

Contact Features Writer Kortny Hahn at [email protected] Follow her on Twitter at @khahnCDT.

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