Brownfield Plan Approved to Construct Best Financial Credit Union’s First Ottawa County Branch Office
SPRING LAKE, MI – On August 23, the Ottawa County Board of Commissioners approved a Brownfield Plan that will pave the way for BestFinancial Credit Union (Best FCU) to construct its first Ottawa County branch office in the Village of Spring Lake. The Brownfield Plan will allowBest FCU to utilize Tax Increment Financing to help offset the cost of redeveloping this site at the corner of Savidge and School Streets, just northof Millpoint Park along the Grand River. The site is a current “brownfield” due to the presence of contamination in the area from historic industrialuses at the site and nearby properties.
“We are excited to open our first Ottawa County branch office, and to open it on a site that was in need of redevelopment. Taking a defunctproperty and turning it into a place of employment for local residents is a win for everyone,” commented Morgan Rescorla, President and CEO ofBest FCU. Site plan approval by Spring Lake officials is pending and, if approved, Best FCU hopes to close on the property later this year. Afterleveraging funds provided by state agencies and local authorities for the purchase and improvement of the property, Rescorla anticipates that BestFCU will hire four full-time and three part- time employees at the new Spring Lake location. Best FCU currently has two locations in Muskegon to serve its members. Best FCU offers members a wide range of financial services including loans, savings accounts, checking accounts and creditcards. Formerly Community Schools Credit Union, Best FCU, a not-for-profit organization, has been serving its members since 1955.
The Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (OCBRA) was able to provide two other means of financial assistance for theBest FCU project. First, the Board of Commissioners gave its approval for the OCBRA to request a loan from the Department of EnvironmentalQuality (MDEQ) that will help Best FCU pay for redevelopment at the brownfield site. This is the first time the OCBRA has used this financial tool to assist developers to revitalize brownfields. The loan program is part of the Clean Michigan Initiative legislation under the NaturalResources and Environmental Protection Act. Second, the Best FCU project is one of 34 properties that received funding from an Environmental Protection Agency grant awarded to the OCBRA to perform environmental assessments necessary for responsible redevelopment of brownfield sites in Ottawa County. The funds have now been fully expended and the grant closes on September 30, 2016.
For more information about redeveloping brownfield sites in Ottawa County and the tools available, contact the OCBRA at 616.738.4852or visit www.miottawa.org/ocbra.