Dorr Township is being asked for a $200,000 contribution to the Sustainable Business Park project, but Kent County Department of Public Works Darwin Baas insists the investment will reap even greater rewards.
Baas Thursday evening produced a document from Township Assessor Mike Richmond, who estimated the taxable value as a result of the project will increase by $233,515. Add to that $559,337 for Allegan County, a little more than a million dollars for Wayland Union Schools and $299,079 for the State of Michigan.
Baas and consultant Rich Chapla paid another cordial visit to the Dorr Township for a special workshop to continue to explain the Sustainable Business Park project that intends to take 90% of the area’s waste and convert it into recyclable materials.
The current Kent County landfill in Byron Township is only a few years away from filling up and needing to be closed. Kent County already has purchased a 250-acre parcel in northern Dorr Township for the next site for disposing, only this time it boldly has plans to turn recycling and waste materials into a viable product, thereby saving the landfill from the continued overload of refuse.
The project has lured Continuous Materials Anergia, a Toronto-based firm, to be anchor tenant at the site where it will manufacture a roof coverboard that already has been shown to outperform traditional gypsum-based roofing.
Baas said plans call for 65 employees at the plant, which will take up 477,000 square feet at the site on 20 acres. Plans also call for the Byron-Wyoming Water and Sewer Authority to provide water and sewer to the property so there won’t be any added strain on the Dorr-Leighton sewer system.
“There’s a lot of energy behind this project,” Baas told Township Board members, adding, “Seventy-five percent of what should be recycled today is still going to the landfill.”
The two guests said local residents still will be encouraged to continue with curbside recyclying, but the cost likely will increase by $3.10 per month per household.
Township Clerk Debbie Sewers said that may be troublesome because Dorr voters most recently approved a $36 per year surcharge by just 15 votes and soon they will be asked to approve a fee increase to $50 annually.
Trustees John Tuinstra and Chandler Stanton also expressed some misgivings, but Supervisor Jeff Miling said, “For me, this is a no-brainer to invest. I’d really like to see this happen. It’s going to help our community.”
Baas and Chapla said the biggest assets from the program are economic development, saving the environment, promoting recycling and reducing the need for space for dumping waste.
The Township Board intends to seek public input and may even consider using some of the American Rescue Plan Act federal funding for the project.