FAIRPLAIN TOWNSHIP — The Fairplain Township Board decided against purchasing property in Fenwick because of the cost of demolishing the existing building.
The township board had $10,000 set aside in its foreclosure and clean-up fund to possibly purchase a piece of property before it goes to the Montcalm County public land auction Aug. 6.
The idea was to turn the property into a small community park. However, the cost to demolish the existing building would have put the township’s costs closer to $12,000.
“I don’t know what to do about this,” said Supervisor Tom Sova. “It seems a bit much. I don’t think we can do that.”
The property at 386 W. Fenwick Road sits just west of the Post Office in Fenwick and should have been condemned in the past, according to township officials. The property is currently being occupied.
To purchase the property from Montcalm County would cost Fairplain Township more than $4,800 and demolition costs are more than $7,000, according to Sova.
Treasurer Sharon Swindell asked about waiting until after the auction and, if the property does not sell, see if the township can get it for a better price.
“We could chance it,” Swindell said.
During the board meeting Monday, Sova asked residents who attended the meeting what they thought of the situation.
Members of the audience agreed that although the idea of demolishing the building and putting in a small park is a good idea, it is not the right time to spend more than $12,000 to do so.
Sova said he is worried about someone purchasing the property through the auction and letting the house sit for many more years.
“It’s not a bad price at all,” said Trustee Bill Lutherloh. “But for us, it is.”
Sova said he would have been comfortable with the $10,000 the board had originally planned to spend, but does not feel comfortable with more than $12,000.
After taking everyone’s thoughts into consideration, Sova decided to not move forward with the purchase and wait to see what can be done after the results of the auction.
“It’s out of reach for us,” Sova said.
Registration for the annual Montcalm County public land auction is 11 a.m. Aug. 6. The auction will begin at noon in Stanton.
Visit www.montcalm.org for details and photographs of the 109 properties set to be auctioned.