2017-12-24 / News

Village votes to pursue annexation of Peet Packing property

By Jeanne Marcello
Staff Reporter

VILLAGE OF CHESANING – In a 5-2 vote, the Chesaning Village Council agreed to pursue annexation of the Peet Packing property on the request of the property owner, Beau Parmeter.

Parmeter told the council, “I’d like to get it annexed to you guys. It looks like it would make sense and bring more business into town.”

Parmeter said he went to the Chesaning Township planning commission meeting, “Bob Corrin shut it down every time. It seems like the majority of the board is for it, except Bob Corrin.”

Attorney Patrick Greenfelder addressed the council saying, “It’s ultimately the decision of the Saginaw County Board of Commissioners. The township could object. I don’t see the downside to the township.”

Greenfelder told the village council that he thinks it would be a huge boon for Chesaning. “The road millage goes with it,” he said.

Village president Joseph Sedlar, Jr. asked, “Could the township sue the village?”

Greenfelder responded, “We think it’s in the best interest of the village to annex the property. The township could be present to object.”

Councilman Michael Cicalo asked, “If we annex it, what would you build?”

Greenfelder confirmed that it would become a medical marijuana facility.

He said, “It’s a huge risk to Beau if he wants to go through with this. His taxes go way up.”

Cicalo confirmed that the property in question is already served by village water and sewer.

Councilman Keith Wenzel said, “So the only person in our way sits down there (pointing to the township office).”

Councilman Trent Vondrasek said, “We’re not saying what’s going in there is an opportunity to expand our tax base.”

Councilman Phil Larner said, “I’m looking at the unfunded liability, more dollars.”

Cicalo said, “We can’t get greedy. I don’t think it’s a good fit for the community.”

Councilman Mike Navarre said, “I side with Mike [Cicalo].”

Hoover moved to accept the resolution drafted by Greenfelder.

Greenfelder said, “There wouldn’t be a cost to the village to put it in front of the board of commissioners [to file the annexation].”

The council voted five “yes” votes to two “no” votes.

Village Administrator Troy Feltman asked the council, “Is somebody going to reach out to the township?”

Sedlar responded, “It’s not on us.”

Feltman said, “I’d be opposed if I were on the opposite side of the line.”

Sedlar directed Feltman to contact the township concerning the council’s decision.

Later in the meeting, during public comment, Trinity United Methodist Church Pastor Tim Woycik said, “An observation, I don’t have a problem with annexation. I think the cat’s out of the bag [as far as them planning a medical marijuana facility on the Peet Packing property]. Owosso just turned it [medical marijuana] down. With the advent of two dispensaries and a grow [facility], we’re going to need more police in this town, Colorado proves it. The criminal element is going to be coming into this town.”

Sedlar responded, “We’ve got some unfunded liability we need to take care of.”

Cicalo said, “With pharmaceutical and opioid crisis, we don’t know where recreational will go. It would be prudent to put 10 percent into an escrow account for community liability.”

Vondrasek said, “It would fall on the state.”

Hoover said, “We’re going to get sued.”

Sedlar responded, “Anyone can sue. I don’t disagree with you.”

On Wednesday, Dec. 20, Corrin learned about the village council’s decision. He said, “They never contacted us about this. They just went ahead and did it. It’s township property they’re taking for marijuana. Whose property are they going to take next? I don’t think it shows respect. We’re not in favor of annexation. We were not approached. I’m just taking a stand.”

In response, Chesaning Township treasurer Cathy Gross said, “I was at the planning meeting at the township when Beau [Parmeter] and his group came asking the commission to pass an ordinance to allow [medical marijuana]. Bob is not on planning. He was present, but he did not shut it down.

During that township meeting, trustee Pete Hemgesberg said the township sent out a survey for the master plan with the summer tax bills. There was one question about whether residents feel commercial marijuana growing/ selling facilities should be allowed in Chesaning Township. Residents responding said “no” on a two-to-one margin.

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