Traverse City Record-Eagle

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July 24, 2013

Leelanau says no to township land proposal

LELAND — Leelanau County’s Board of Commissioners doused a Leland Township proposal for an option to purchase a piece of land that could one day be used for a new township fire hall.

The township is considering a new fire hall or perhaps rehabbing its existing one at Leland Township Fire and Rescue Department facilities at 201 Grand Ave.

“The current station is inadequate, so the question then becomes, do we put money into fixing it and rebuilding it, or do we move to a new site and start over?” said township Supervisor Cal Little.

Township officials asked county leaders for an option-to-purchase agreement on a county-owned lot immediately adjacent to the existing facility on Grand for possible future expansion of the fire hall or a new building. The township offered the county a $1,000 payment for an 18-month option to purchase the property, with a final sale price of $100,000 if the option is exercised.

County commissioners, though, extinguished the proposal by a 6 to 1 vote Tuesday morning. County Administrator Chet Janik said commissioners were concerned the option-to-buy contract might take the property off the market for too long.

“The other factor was concerns the proposed price was too low,” Janik said.

Little said the township will consider asking commissioners to accept new terms on the Grand Avenue property. The township also is contemplating an alternative scenario: the possibility of a new fire station at the intersection of North Manitou Trail and East Duck Lake Road, which would offer a consolidated station for services to Leland and Lake Leelanau.

Little expects extensive public discussion on a new fire hall, which likely would require a millage.

“We are going to do our due diligence,” Little said.

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