October 24, 2014

Hotel development halted

Posted

STANDISH TWP. —The development of an 80 room hotel and travel center at the intersection of M-13 and US-23 in Standish Township is now on hold.

City officials along with the, Migizi Economic Development Company of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe, and the Aking holding company, have been trying to figure out ways in which the city could extend its municipal water and sewage system to the potential development site.

Citing the city’s financial issues, because of the recent administrative layoffs and the loss the prison, the group decided to halt the $1.2 million water and sewage project in late April, after a year and a half of talks.

“It is unfortunate about the situation that the city is in with the loss of the prison. At this point we’re focusing on adding some amenities to the casino,” said Tribal Public Relations Director Frank Cloutier. “We understand the current situation in the city. There is hope and inspirations for the future.”

During the months of talks, the groups looked at the requirements of the project including the cost of the construction, engineering, legal research, the cost of state requirements, water and sewer rate costs and more.

At their most recent meet- ing at the Migizi Offices in Mount Pleasant, the group along with the Tribal Council, reviewed what had been accomplished to date.

At that meeting, the Standish Mayor Mark Winslow and City Manager Mike Moran decided to advise the group that they did not feel they could sustain a grant or loan for the cost of the project.

“We couldn’t find the money. Our budget situation is such that we can’t reach for that money,” said Moran. “If we had reached out for a loan we would have to raise our water bills for any kind of revenue. I felt that was not the way to go.”

Though the project is on hold indefinitely, both the city and the Tribe said that the project could be revisited in future if water and sewage becomes possible. “We have a very good relationship. There was no problem at all,” said Moran about the negotiations with the tribe. “We look forward for a possibility in the future. Maybe five years down the road, you never know.”

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