(IRON MOUNTAIN, MI.)—On November 18th of last year, the Iron Mountain City Council discussed the idea of establishing a Commercial Rehabilitation District. The establishment of the district requires the council to hold a public hearing, which was held on Monday night. However, property owners did not respond, basically, for lack of understanding what was all involved in Public Act 210 of 2005 which governs the district. Council members holding the public hearing to decide whether or not to approve the district, which would have the same boundaries as the Downtown Development Authority (DDA). Most business and property owners are concerned as to how it could benefit them and how they could afford to upgrade their property or properties. There are several categories that would be used to determine the length of the abatement, but, no matter how many years are earned in each category, the State through the Act has established the abatement at 10-years. According to Iron Mountain City Manager, Jordan Stanchina, “Eligibility requirements established by the council should help explain what the program can do and how each property owner could be affected; the eligibility requirements are expected to reviewed by the council which means there still could be changes, so, the ultimate goal of the Commercial Rehabilitation District will be to spark investment in vacant or underutilized buildings and/or land.” A qualified facility, could include a vacant property or other commercial property which, within the immediately preceding 15-years was commercial property. Types of enterprises include office, engineering, research and development, warehousing, parts distribution, retail sales and like commercial activities. Multi-family residential would consist of five or more units. Commercial properties allocated new market tax credits are also considered as a qualified facility. Commercial property does not include property that is to be used as a professional sports stadium or a casino. Land and personal property are not eligible for abatement under the act. The Iron Mountain City Council will host the Committee of the Whole on Monday, February 27th at 6:30pm, at which time it is expected there will dialogue between property owners and the council.
(Aaron Harper, WJNR,WOBE,WHTO)