CADILLAC — City officials announced Wednesday that cleanup of the Mitchell-Bentley building would begin next week.
According to a city press release, on Tuesday, Oct. 15, Cadillac crews, in conjunction with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes and Energy (EGLE) and Consumers Energy, will begin removal of contaminated debris and remaining structures at the former Mitchell-Bentley property to make way for the development of a 500-kilowatt Solar Community Garden.
The city of Cadillac was awarded a $700,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Grant and a $300,000 Brownfield Redevelopment Loan to revitalize and safely reuse the multiple-acre former manufacturing property at 514 West Wright St.
The property has been used for manufacturing since 1894 and was last in operation by the Mitchell-Bentley Corporation in 1989. In 2013 the plant burned, leaving approximately 9,000 cubic yards of asbestos-containing debris on the property and remnant soil contamination.
The Brownfield Grant and Loan will be used to remove the debris, demolish the remaining buildings, and properly dispose of contaminated soil at a regulated landfill.
Pitsch Company of Grand Rapids was selected through a competitive bidding process to conduct the cleanup and Otwell Mawby of Traverse City will provide overall project management and monitoring in conjunction with Fishbeck, Thompson, and Carr and Huber of Grand Rapids.
“We are thrilled to begin the process of transforming this blighted property for renewable energy and industrial use to create new opportunities and jobs for the city of Cadillac,‘ said Cadillac Mayor Carla Filkins. “Without EGLE funding, none of this would be possible. Importantly, Consumers Energy participation provided the opportunity to access EGLE Brownfield funding and provides the additional benefit of powering a portion of the city’s facilities with renewable energy. Additionally, the community support from the Cadillac Brownfield Redevelopment Authority, Cadillac Industrial Fund and Wolverine Power only highlights the incredible collaborative nature of our city in tackling the most challenging issues.‘
Consumers Energy will invest approximately $700,000 to install solar panels on the southern portion of the property once the cleanup activities are complete. The panels will provide green energy to the city of Cadillac’s municipal facilities and the ability for anyone to participate in their Solar Community Gardens Program. The remaining northern portion of the parcel will be available for industrial redevelopment.
“Consumers Energy is proud to be a partner with the City of Cadillac and EGLE to bring renewable energy to the city and businesses of Cadillac. The Cadillac Solar Garden project is part of larger pilot program statewide to provide unique renewable access to communities and businesses,‘ said Jeff Myrom, Director of Renewable Energy for Consumers Energy.
A press conference will be held at the project location on Oct. 15 at 11 a.m. Members of the community are invited to attend.