EAGLE RIVER - The Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners approved getting quotes for an appraiser to look at part of the Mt. Horace Greeley property at its monthly meeting Wednesday.
Incoming commissioner Ray Chase said he had talked with someone interested in buying part of the Mt. Horace Greeley property over the summer, but that an appraisal is needed before any further talks.
"If anybody's interested in purchasing it to develop it, you're going to have to be able to set a price, or at least a starting price to negotiate from," he said.
Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette
Representative-Elect Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, addresses members of the Keweenaw County Board of Commissioners in Eagle River Wednesday during the board's regular monthly meeting.
Representative-Elect Scott Dianda, D-Calumet, who was in the audience after speaking to the board earlier that night, said he'd be interested in talking with the board about a tax-free renaissance zone in the county. Board members were receptive.
"That would be a big incentive for somebody to go there," said Chair Don Piche.
Dianda also suggested some provision, such as a long-term lease, to prevent whoever develops the property from leaving after five or seven years.
Chase said the county may also want to negotiate with the federal government over the lower portion of the property, which is federally owned.
"This person who's interested in buying the upper area would like to have the lower area too," he said. "If we could get some sort of commitment out of him, then we could go back to the government about taking over the lower section."
Chase said the person he had talked to has businesses such as alcohol rehab centers and retirement communities. The person has come up to the site before and is aware of the issues facing it, he said.
"I haven't led anybody down a primrose path," Chase said.
In other action, the board:
set a budget meeting for 6:30 p.m. Dec. 11 and a public hearing for the approval of the 2013 budget for 6 p.m. Dec. 19.
approved an agreement between the Keweenaw County Sheriff's Department and Copper Country Community Mental Health Services Board for transport of patients between psychiatric hospitals.
approved a memorandum of agreement between the Keweenaw County Courthouse and the Western U.P. Substance Abuse Services Coordinating Agency, Inc.
approved a resolution of intent to restructure revenue bonds for the Keweenaw Mountain Lodge.
approved supporting a grant application for the county's zoning administrator to attend the Michigan State University Zoning Administrator Certification Program in St. Ignace from Feb. 18 to 20.
approved $500 in membership dues for the Keweenaw Economic Development Alliance.