UPDATED: Michigan Senate Approves House Bill to Sell Robert Scott Prison
The bill, sponsored by Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth), now awaits Gov. Rick Snyder's signature.
Northville Township is one step closer to bringing new businesses to the Five Mile and Beck roads area.
House Bill 4689, sponsored in the Michigan House by Rep. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth), previously cleared the state House and cleared the Senate today. It authorizes the sale of the former Robert Scott Correctional Facility.
The bill paves "the way for a new advanced energy technology park that will help create jobs and promote long-term economic growth in the area," according to a press release from Heise's office announcing the vote.
Township supervisor Mark Abbo agreed. "What we'd like done with the property is for it to be put to more constructive use," he said. Specifically, that means having it "added to the tax rolls."
Heise echoed similar sentiments in his press release. "Allowing for the sale of Scott prison is a blockbuster decision that will help transform our region and improve our economy. The sale is critical to the success of the Five Mile corridor initiative."
State Sen. Patrick Colbeck (R-Canton), who sponsored a similar bill in the Senate, also lauded its passage.
“The authorization to sell the Scott Correctional Facility presents a monumental opportunity for our community to revitalize an unused eyesore, and brings with it the potential to stimulate the economy with new business and needed jobs,” Colbeck said. “It will herald a new era of economic development in Northville and surrounding communities and I thank my colleagues and Governor Snyder for recognizing its importance with their support.”
Previously, Northville Township officials passed their own resolution in support of developing the area for commercial use.
Heise's office reports that the bill now awaits Gov. Rick Snyder's signature. If signed, one of the bill's provisions calls for the property to be offered to Northville Township for purchase at $1.
Buying the property is something the township might consider, Abbo said.
"The Township acquiring it isn't a likely scenario but it's still something we can't dismiss," he said.
Abbo said that "there's a lot of people who have to weigh into that and come to a consensus."
For Abbo, who recently announced he would not seek re-election as township supervisor, it's a proud moment.
"It kind of fulfills one of our primary objectives for a long time," he said. "It diversifies our tax base and takes the strain off just residents."
Come back to Northville Patch for updates.