Houghton County board approves land sale to Tech

HOUGHTON — The Houghton County Board approved a sale of land at the Houghton County Memorial Airport industrial park to Michigan Technological University.

The 1.42-acre outlot had been attached to lot 15, the site of the former Blizzard building, said Airport Manager Dennis Hext. When Blizzard sold the building to the Keweenaw Research Center, it couldn’t come to an agreement on outlot B. The person who now owns the lot would like to sell it to the KRC; however, the sale requires board approval.

The current owner, David Camps, said he had planned to set up a company at the site, but had instead moved to the former apothecary building in Hancock.

Camps said Tech had indicated it planned to build on the site.

Commissioners voted 3-2 in favor of the sale; Commissioners Scott Ala, Anton Pintar and Tom Tikkanen supported it; Chairman Al Koskela and Vice Chairman Tim Palosaari voted against it, citing the loss of potential tax revenue for the county.

“Every time Tech buys another chunk of property, it comes off (the tax roll) and it doesn’t go on again,” Palosaari said.

Hext said in its unimproved state, the taxes per year are $176.21. The owner also pays a $140 industrial park maintenance fee.