Plans for the sustainable business park in Dorr Township took another step forward Thursday night when the Township Board unanimously approved the extension of sewer and water from Byron Township.
The park, which will be located in the northeast section of the township, promises economic development, 130 jobs and local tax revenue from its proposed 250-acre site. There, anchor tenant Continuus Materials plans to manufacture siding, roofing and ceiling parts from discarded plastic glass and other so-called recycling items that still otherwise wind up in landfills.
The project eventually includes closing the Kent County landfill and opening the business park to provide a place to make things that can be useful rather than wasteful.
Consultant Rick Chapla, who told the Dorr Planning Commission Tuesday night that the Kent County Department of Public Works, which owns the land, hopes to get out of the landfill business entirely.
“It’s a win for all of us if this works out the way we want it to,” said Township Supervisor Jeff Miling.
Chapla said plans are for the anchor tenant to get things up and running by the start of the year 2025.
In other business Thursday evening, the Township Board:
- Fielded a complaint from Trustee Chandler Stanton that about $8,250 was missing from bank statements and the situation was allowed to continue for several months. United Bank was able to recover about $3,400, which was returned to the township.
Treasurer Myrna Marr, who took over the job only last December, explained that the township account was hacked and she and Clerk Debbie Sewers are working with the auditor to correct the problem.
Trustee John Tuinstra said the past treasurer did not keep up on reconciliation of bank accounts, contributing to the trouble.
Stanton insisted the board packet for the next meeting include the bank statements from July and August. He, Tuinstra, Sewers and Dan Weber voted in favor, Marr, Miling and Trustee Pat Champion were opposed.
- Heard a presentation from Mark Witte of Allegan County Community Mental Health, asking that some of the money Dorr is slated to get from the American Recovery Protection Act (ARPA) be set aside to help the agency purchase the old Shopko building in Allegan to house the service.
Penny Post, the township’s representative on the Ambulance Board, vouched for the service, pointing out that because Allegan County doesn’t have an appropriate facility, ambulances and hospitals have to send patients out of county and even out of state.
- Heard from Post that she is resigning from the Ambulance Board effective in December because of the press of business with the hospital. Fire Chief Gary Fordham remains as the township’s one rep.
- Learned from Dorr Parks Commission member Michael Grafton that vandalism continues to plague the parks and a camera would be desirable to cut down on the trouble.
Grafton added that plans are moving forward on establishing a dog park.
- Agreed to pay a total match of $358,939 to secure a $600,000 federal grant to reconstruct 138th Avenue from 21 Street to 24th Street.
- Was told by Fordham at the Dorr Fire Department already has matched the number of calls from all of last year. He said there were 26 requests for assistance on Aug. 11 alone during the violent summer storm.
COVER PHOTO: Township Board members (from left) Myrna Marr, Jeff Miling and Debbie Sewers watch Rick Chapla demonstrate the material the sustainable business park anchor tenant will manufacture.