Sheridan to pursue grant in effort to demolish Carnation building

By Cory Smith • Last Updated 12:35 pm on Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The village of Sheridan has been working hard to clean up the former Carnation Building at M-66 and Condensery Road, pictured here in September 2010. — File photo

SHERIDAN — The wheels of government are turning slowly to demolish the Carnation Building in downtown Sheridan.

Sheridan Village Council members agreed Tuesday to pursue a $400,000 Brownfield Authority Grant from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) that would create a three-step process to eventually demolish the building and clean up contamination on the property.

The facility, which was built in 1930 and ceased operations in 1975, sits on the corner of Condensery Road and M-66.

Montcalm Alliance Executive Director Franz Mogdis explained the details of the grant and the processes that would need to be followed.

“The purpose of this grant is to identify, as comprehensively as we can, an inventory of possibly polluted hazardous sites countywide,” Mogdis said.

The grant will be used to determine what sites in the county are contaminated and what the extent of contamination on those sites. The third step is to “prioritize those sights and go after additional grants to take care of the problem.”

Mogdis provided the council with a second option, pursuing a Community Development Block Grant for demolition of the facility through the Michigan Economic Development Corporation. However, he said there are two major problems with that option.

“The first problem is that the building has to be owned by the village. It can’t be owned by a private entity,” he said. “The second problem is that if we were successful, there would be a match on that particular entity by the village.”

Mogdis said EPA grant doesn’t require the village to own the property or a local match to the grant. It is 100 percent funded by the federal government up to $400,000.

“Right now, I’m certainly committing that the site will be included in the EPA analysis,” he said. “It’s up to (the council) if you want to consider the other option as well.”

Village President Susan Wyckoff-McFarland said the council is content with pursuing the Brownfield grant through the EPA.

“I think we’re leaning toward the EPA grant because the obstacles of matching and owning the building would be too costly to the village,” she said. “At this point we don’t own the building and there’s no desire to purchase the property, so we’re more inclined to go with the EPA grant.”

Wyckoff-McFarland said the village hopes to see the building gone soon.

“It is an eyesore when you come through town,” she said. “It’s our goal to clean up that corner and it would be nice if it was taken down.”

With a little luck, Mogdis hopes to see the property demolished within a year.

“Hopefully by this time next year, we’ll be talking about being able to do something new on that sight in the spring,” he said.

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