County to hold public meeting on Burr Oak property

St. Joseph County is expected to hold a public hearing as part of a process related to redevelopment of a former bar property in Burr Oak Township.

During their executive committee meeting Tuesday, St. Joseph County commissioners heard a report from Cathy Knapp, a partner with Southwest Michigan First.

She explained details of a Brownfield project at the southwest corner of U.S. 12 and Halfway Road. It involves property on which the former Corners Lounge sat.

Knapp said Southwest Michigan First was approached earlier this year by environmental consultants representing a company called Midwest Five. Its plans have led to demolition of the former bar and ongoing development of a Dollar General in its place.

She explained that without Brownfield funding, properties that are or might be on contaminated ground would likely never be redeveloped due to environmental-remediation costs.

Knapp said the next step involves the county, which is required to stage a public hearing and send out notice to the taxing bodies affected by the project. In addition, the county is required to adopt a resolution in support of the use of Brownfield dollars.

The public hearing at the county level is expected to take place later this year or in early 2021.

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