A small, aging industrial building had long occupied the corner of School and Savidge Streets in Spring Lake Village, but on January 16, 2018 Best Financial Credit Union (CU) will open the doors of their first Ottawa County branch office in that location. Best Financial CU’s President, Morgan Rescorla, commented “We are very excited to become a part of the Spring Lake community and better serve our Ottawa County members”. Best Financial CU constructed a brand new, 2,500 square foot building that will be the workplace for seven full time and two part time employees. They offer their members a wide variety of financial services, including checking, savings, loans, and retirement vehicles. A grand opening event is slated for January 26, 2018 at 3:00pm.
Long before Best Financial CU noticed the property, a number of different types of businesses were operated at this corner, from industrial wood working to metal fabrication. As a result of the chemicals used in those processes, the site had soil and groundwater contamination that needed to be addressed by Best Financial CU when they purchased property. The environmental contractor working with Best Financial CU advised them to contact the Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (OCBRA) for financial assistance for the environmental assessments and clean-up planning that would be needed in order to redevelop the site.
The OCBRA was able to help Best Financial CU access multiple financial incentives to offset the additional costs of redeveloping a brownfield site. The $1.15 million price tag for the project was supplemented by grant funding from the Environmental Protection Agency, a loan from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, and the capture of incremental property taxes. Rescorla stated that this site was exactly right for their Ottawa County location, but being a good steward of member funds is a priority, so securing these incentives were make or break for choosing this site over a non-brownfield site. The incentives offset added projects costs stemming primarily from the removal of approximately 800 tons of contaminated soil, 5 million gallons of contaminated water, and the installation of a vapor intrusion barrier.
In addition to the added jobs and services brought to the community by this project, Village Manager Chris Burns says, “Village Council and staff are thrilled to welcome Best Financial Credit Union to the Village! Best Financial CU and Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority’s commitment to the remediation of this (formerly) blighted property serve as an example of an outstanding redevelopment project. We are optimistic developers can use this site as an example of successful public/private collaboration that can be replicated elsewhere within the Village.” The project site is immediately adjacent to a wetland, and one block away from a public park situated on the Grand River.