‘Reimagine trash’ business park plans proceed in Dorr


Representatives from Kent County spearheading the sustainable business park in northeast Dorr Township are proceeding apace with plans.

Darwin Baas, director of the Kent County Department of Public Works, told the Planning Commission about the “Reimagine Trash” project a couple of months ago and colleague Rick Chapla said the Kent County landfill to the immediate north may have only seven years left to accept waste.

Baas earlier has indicated the strategic plan is to reduce solid waste taken to landfills by 20 percent by the end of the year 2020 and as much as 90 percent by 2030.

Chapla said the waste reduction project could result in 100 new jobs and an investment of as much as $100 million in the area.

“The goal is to take landfill waste and convert it into something else,” he said, using emerging technology that has been successful in Europe and Canada.

He said there are hopes to have businesses operating at the 250-acre site within three years. The location is 108th Avenue south to 146th Avenue and between 14th Street east to U.S.-131. 14th Street would be the main service road for the park.

Chapla said the Kent County DPW is seriously considering five business proposals, two from Europe and one from Canada, and one prospective anchor tenant could take up half of the 250 acres.

Chandler Stanton

State and federal grants are being pursued for the project.

Chapla said a planned unit development (PUD) will be sought to accommodate the work. He added that the Kent DPW has been working with Lori Castello of Professional Code Inspections on determining what can and can’t be done at the site.

In other business at Thursday evening’s meeting, the Dorr Township Board:

  • Fielded concerns and questions from citizen Joycelin Denstone about the Citizens’ Road Committee’s plans for road projects next year.

Denstone said she was told about intentions to pave 16th Street as early as 2017, but nothing has been done and she is worried the stalemate will continue well into 2022.

Road Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Sandel said there appears to have been some misunderstandings about road projects, but right now the paving of 16th Street is the highest priority in Dorr for the Allegan County Road Commission in 2021.

  • Adopted an ordinance granting the rezoning of the John Langlois property along 18th Street from agricultural to rural estates. The request, which plaves the way for a 13-unit site condo project, was made before the Planning Commission Tuesday evening and it was recommended.
  • Was told by Clerk Debbie Sewers that the November general election presented significant problems and there were huge numbers of people who had to wait in line in Precinct No. 2. She advocated finding a new polling place to accommodate more citizens.
  • Myrna Marr

    Welcomed three new board members, Treasurer Myrna Marr and Trustees Chandler Stanton and Patrick Champion, all of whom were elected in the primary and general votes.

  • Approved the appointment of Trustee Dan Weber to be the board’s representative on the Planning Commission, succeeding Terri Rios, who was defeated in the primary election for supervisor.
  • Appointed Josh Briley and Michael Grafton to the Parks Commission, filling two vacant seats. They will join Rios, Amanda Winters and Linda Stephans of the five-member panel.
  • Reappointed Sandel, Eugene VanPutten and Connie Holbrook to the Board of Review and Brian Boot as alternate.
  • Approved the appointment s of Sewers, Marr and Supervisor Jeff Miling to the Dorr-Leighton Sewer Authority.
  • Held lengthy discussion on a proposal to buy laptops or tablets for township officials to conduct township business from home or attend virtual meetings. Stanton was tasked with getting prices and specifications and bringing a proposal to the board next month.

1 Comment

  • Well the “reimagine trash ” project could not be stopped. It is a shame so many have been “sold this bill of goods” . With a little research our local governing bodies might just have discovered much different figures on the success Canada and some European Countries have accomplished.
    Canada is the biggest producer of waste per capita in the world . Sadly when it comes to recycling plastic ( which is the largest percentage of their waste ) . 86 % goes into landfills and only 9% is recycled. They are hoping that by 2030 a way to recycle a larger percentage will be developed.
    Who is the buyer of their recycled products… guessed it China.
    This is only one example….go on line and do the research our officials should have done. No they could not have stopped it. But they wouldn’t have opened their arms to embrace it.
    We ( the citizens of Dorr township) will have to wait and see will the developers pay for the roads. drain work to move the excess water off site without causing problems downstream, will they control odor and other pollutants, will it really have “eye appeal ” or would a grass covered mountain of garbage be more appealing.
    What happens if the project fails, will it indeed be nothing but a grass covered mountain of garbage?
    It was also very evident that condo project was going to pass. Yes, Dorr township is growing and many small farm tracts are being developed.
    The question I’ve asked so many times is there a plan for the future when the soil can no longer filter human waste and the aquifers become polluted and unusable.
    It’s evident there is no feasible property for a sewage treatment plant. I also don’t believe anyone has any idea where a water system could be located.
    You may not be able to stop development, but hopefully, there are plans for the future infrastructure and where money for them will come from.
    I just don’t think the ” old answer ” we will pass a millage when the time comes..will work in the future.

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