DLP Marquette General Replacement Hospital Brownfield Plan Amendment Dismissed | WJMN
In the plan, DLP Marquette General Hospital receives money from the city in the form of a loan to repay Progressive tax financing. Originally, the authorized debt was $ 52,403,650. Under the amendment, the maximum authorized indebtedness would increase to $ 52,853,650 and help fund eligible activities at the Beacon House site.
David Allen, President of Brownfields Authority of the City of Marquette, said they thought it was possible that the hospital was not using all the money initially allowed under the brownfield plan and that part of that money could be directed to the Beacon House.
“It turned out that the hospital used all of its money and there was no money left in the original brownfield plan to cover what Beacon House wanted to do,” Allen said. “So that allowed us to consider this new idea… we could modify that initial brownfield plan to add $ 460,000 to cover these activities, these brownfield eligible activities, that Beacon House wanted to do.
Allen says Marquette Brownfield’s authority passed the amendment in February after checking to see if it complied with the law and city policies. The amendment should then have gone through the municipal commission for approval. Mayor Jenna Smith says brownfield plans are usually developed with for-profit entities and it is not common for nonprofits to work with a for-profit organization to use the money from the contaminated sites.
“Duke Lifepoint had their Brownfield plan and they definitely have some money in that Brownfield plan if they needed to do any further remedies or whatever went into that plan and they were trying to take the dollars that were allotted to them. and work at Beacon House. in this plan so that Beacon house can have access to those Brownfield dollars, ”Smith said.
Smith says she finds her role as mayor and city commissioner is to ensure the financial stability of the city, the taxpayer of the city of Marquette and to make sure they spend their money on services city essentials.
“Although I wholeheartedly support the efforts of Beacon House and what they do, they are a fantastic non-profit organization, they do amazing things for the people who come for treatment, but the hard part was that the supporting in this way was not part of our strategic plan or master plan is not part of what the residents entrusted to us as city commissioners and so I did not personally think that I could support this adjustment of Brownfield ”, a Smith said.
Jessica Hanley, commissioner for the town of Marquette, also voted no on the amendment. She says that since Beacon House is a non-profit organization, they will not be paying property taxes that will be used to pay back the brownfield plan money.
“They are never taxed on this property, in perpetuity, the Beacon House gets this property tax from the town, which they did in the old Beacon House property, which is a wonderful thing for them to do,” I think, ”Hanley said. “But because of that, when they drafted the plan for the property not to be tax exempt, they wrote in it that they were not eligible for the Brownfield Plan dollars due to the fact that the contaminated sites are reimbursed with additional tax funding and they would not. t be taxed and therefore no tax would be refunded in theory.
DLP Marquette General Hospital would reimburse the approximately $ 450,000 requested in the amendment. Hanley says they have a cap on the amount of money that can be loaned for contaminated sites and that this money could be used for other contaminated sites projects.
“As a municipal commission we have to look at it and say it’s tax money from the town of Marquette, is it fair to allow a non-profit organization to benefit from this tax money then that we don’t donate to any other nonprofit in town? never tax money, ”Hanely said. “This is where my heist was the reason I couldn’t vote for it, I love the Beacon House after the reunion I gave to their fund for this building, I believe in this building but I couldn’t give them city tax money and just find it to be done anyway is the way I saw it. “
Mary Tavernini, CEO of the Upper Peninsula Hospitality House, says they’ve been told it might be a way to help pay for the remediation of certain contaminants at the site they’re building on.
“When we started this construction, you know we built here on this land that originally belonged to the hospital and was originally designated as the Brownfield site. we were reimbursed to do some of the field cleaning, so we followed this procedure on their recommendation, but when it got to city level, the city didn’t agree, ”Tavernini said.
Tavernini said they had hoped it would be money they didn’t have to fundraise.
“We actually had this little glimmer of hope that we would have additional funds that would actually be returned to us, so it was a lot less money that we would need to raise, but now with that as a last development we are going to just keep fundraising, ”sid Tavernini.
She says they are grateful for the support they receive.
“I am very grateful to all the people who came and wanted to let the city know that they were behind us and they were hoping for a yes, grateful to the city for giving us the opportunity to tell them about it and look into this opportunity, and I’m just thankful that we’re this far along and going to find more help. “