“Go for it,” Commissioner Dan Parker said when the Barry County Commission was asked to apply for $300,000 in brownfield assessment grants.
Casey Smith, project manager with SME, said the next round of U.S. Environmental Protection Agency brownfield grants offer $300,000 over three years to fund environmental assessment projects for potential redevelopment sites in Barry County.
Two possible brownfield sites are the property where there was a small engine business in Middleville and where Hastings Manufacturing removed a riverfront building.
Some 25 brownfield sites have already been cleaned up in Barry County, resulting in $11 million in investments and jobs, Smith said.
“We will write the grant at no cost to you,” he said. Travis Alden, president of the Barry County Chamber of Commerce: “We’re being proactive on brownfields to spur development in Barry County.” The request moves to the full board for action next week.
Also Tuesday, commissioners recommended hiring Gabridge & Company for auditing services for a fee not to exceed $26,060 a year for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020, with the option of a two year extension at the same price.
“To better coordinate auditing services and take advantage of economies of scale, the county, Thornapple Manor and Barry County Transit issued a joint RFP,” Administrator Michael Brown said.
Thornapple Manor has an offer of $10,940 a year for a total of five years, and the transit has a $6,400 bid for each of five years,
Both issue separate financial audit reports and will enter separate agreements with Gabridge & Company, Brown said. Gabridge & Company was the lowest of five bids received. For the last six years, the county has hired Rehmann of Grand Rapids for audits.
In other business Tuesday, commissioners also recommended:
*setting a public hearing and adoption of the 2019 budget at 9 a.m., October 23.
*approval of Building and Grounds Director Tim Neeb to issue requests for proposals (RFPs) to buy two boilers for the Courts & Law building for up to $70,000. Neeb said one boiler is leaking; both were installed when the building was constructed and are beyond their life expectancy. Payment will be from the building rehabilitation fund.