Greenville hires appraiser to uphold United Solar Ovonic assessment

By Kelli Ameling • Last Updated 11:33 am on Wednesday, March 07, 2012

In other matters …

The City Council approved two fundraisers on the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail later this year.
The fourth annual Tour De Donut is scheduled for Sept. 22 and will be the same route as last year with no road closures, but some trail closures.
New to the event this year is the mountain bike race, according to Event Director Steve Klackle.
The mountain bikers will start at the same time and place of the road racers, but will include a path at Tower Mountain and some other small changes.
“They will get off at Tower Mountain,” Klackle said. “The roadies will keep going around the lake while the mountain bikers will go up the hill.”
One of the conditions of having the race on the trail is to make sure last year’s markings are removed by May 1 and markings from this year’s race be removed within 24 hours or else the group will be charged to get it removed.
Klackle said he would be looking into something that is not so permanent this year.
The second fundraiser is by Habitat for Humanity, which will use the Fred Meijer Flat River Trail from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. on May 19.
“This is not a timed race and is more of a family event,” said Kris Berry, director of Greenville’s Recreation department.
Berry said the group would like to use Jackson’s Landing to setup a tent for the race. However, she recommended the council charge a $20 fee for using the property as the city does for the pavilions at Veterans Park.
These events are among other events already approved by the council. Berry said she will have other events to present to the council in upcoming meetings.
Bosanic said people wanting to use the trail is a good thing, however he is worried it might be too much of a good thing.
He wanted the council to keep in mind the community might get frustrated when they go to use the trail but find it closed too many times for events.


GREENVILLE — The Greenville City Council has hired an appraiser regarding a recent appeal of assessments on behalf of United Solar Ovonic (USO).

USO and its parent company, Energy Conversion Devices, both filed for bankruptcy on Feb. 14.

Greenville City Manager George Bosanic said USO has appealed its assessment for 2010 and 2011 and is requesting a substantial reduction to its assessed value.

The company pays property taxes for a debt millage for the Flat River District Library and Greenville Public Schools based on the taxable value, although the facilities are in a Renaissance Zone, according to Bosanic.

USO also makes a payment in lieu of taxes to the city, which has been using the taxable value to obtain that figure.

“The city is responsible to uphold its assessment,” Bosanic said.

Because USO ordered a new appraisal, Bosanic said the city had to “follow suit” and hire an appraiser.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, the Greenville City Council approved a contract with MR Valuation Consulting LLC from Colts Neck, N.J., in the amount of $75,000 plus travel expenses.

Greenville is allowed to levy a 1 percent administration fee for dealing with appeals regarding state law.
Bosanic said that this will generate about $100,000 per year in revenue.

“The funding is essentially there for this, but for whatever expenses we have into this case, we may have to use general fund revenues to offset the expense, or interestingly enough, the payment in lieu of taxes provided by United Solar Inc.,” Bosanic stated in the meeting’s agenda.

The project will be managed and performed under Mark Rodriguez, ASA, MRICS, of MR Valuation Consulting LLC.

The $75,000 is broken down to $55,000 for the appraisal for the first year (2010) and $20,000 for the appraisal for the second year (2011).

“(MR Valuation Consulting) is very good at high-tech appraisals,” Bosanic said.

Bosanic said once the appraisals are complete, the case could be settled between the city and USO or it could go in front of the Tax Tribunal, an administrative court that hears appeals relating to individual, property and business tax matters, which involves taxes enforced by the Michigan Department of Treasury.

Bosanic said the appraisal is on the fast track and could begin as early as next week.

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