PERE MARQUETTE TWP. — Supervisor Jerry Bleau announced to the Pere Marquette Charter Township Board of Trustees at its meeting Tuesday evening that they had closed part of the Dow Chemical properties — a deal that’s been in the works for years.

The meeting was held via teleconference call at 6:30 p.m. The decision was made based on the emergency order by the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, Bleau said at the beginning of the meeting.

“It’s a little bit exciting, and I’m a little bit in awe,” Bleau said. “The township worked so hard on this, and I’m lucky enough to be the one to sign my name on the papers. It’s truly an honor.”

The township plans to turn the property, located near two township parks on Pere Marquette Lake and including Lake Michigan frontage, into a conservation park.

Bleau guessed it had been about seven to 10 years since the idea was brought to the township, though he couldn’t find an official record of the first conversation.

The proposal originated with the parks commission, which has since been dissolved. He commended Paul Keson, the previous supervisor, for his work on the project.

The closing was for parcels one through four. Parcel 5 is expected to be acquired next year.

Once the final parcel is closed on, Bleau said they will have a ribbon cutting ceremony with Dow Chemical and everyone involved to celebrate.

“This was a huge collaboration. We want to recognize this historical situation coming to fruition,” he said. “We don’t anyone left out. It’s much bigger than just one person.”

Until then, the township will continue to work on the master plan for the conservation park. It has held two public workshops this year to gather input from residents on what they would like to have in the park.

“Citizens are going to have a beautiful property to use,” Bleau said. “This was the vision of the township for a long time.”

IN OTHER BUSINESS

The township board accepted the offer from White Sand Holdings to purchase Lot 1 of the First Street Business Park for $70,470, not including a non-refundable deposit and other fees, after some discussion.

Two blind bids were submitted for the property. Both representatives were present on the call and answered questions from the board. The resolution was adopted 6-0.

The board also accepted the high bid of $20,001.95 for the township-owned 2015 Subaru Crosstrek, approved the compensation schedule for township employees as recommended by the personnel and finance committee, and agreed to all proposed committee, fire department and board appointments without changes. The committee and board appointments will be available on the township website, www.pmtwp.org.

It also set its meeting schedule for 2021 with some changes. The second meeting of the month, which is held every other month, will be at 5 p.m. instead of 6:30 p.m. The schedule is also posted on the township webesite.

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