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Aerial photo of Valley Tech Center park shows industrial/commercial development along Mackinaw Road in Monitor Township south of the US-10 expressway.

Warehouse Center in Monitor Would Be Among Top 10 County Taxpayers

Township Planners Likely to Reconsider Rezoning Issue Blocking Job Growth

January 21, 2006       Leave a Comment
By: Dave Rogers

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A proposed $10 million warehouse distribution center with 200-300 jobs is likely to be resubmitted soon to the Monitor Township Planning Commission.

"I can't see any reason why it wouldn't be approved if we have the full information," said Carole Hoyle, planning commission chairperson. She indicated the lack of information apparently driven by a need for confidentiality was the reason for delay of the rezoning request last week.

Monitor Township Supervisor Gary Brandt and planner Seth Shpargel both cited positive aspects of the proposal for the township in statements to news media.

The center is called Northern Michigan Warehousing, according to Bay County economic development officials. Successful development of the project would place it either eighth or ninth on the county's newly updated list of principal taxpayers.

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At a projected 250,000 square feet under roof, the warehouse project would be about equal in total size to several average K-Mart retail stores.

Fred Hollister, Bay Future, Inc., public-private economic development agency executive, is working with the Monitor TownshipDowntown Development Authority, the county and other officials to structure an expansion plan and tax increment financing agreement for a 65 acre expansion to the Valley Technology Park.

"In addition to the number of jobs that would be moved to Bay County, there would likely be a positive impact on overall demand for housing since over time some of the employees might decide to move to Bay County," said County Executive Thomas L. Hickner. "I also assume any agreement on expansion of the Tech Park between the township, the DDA and the county will also produce an increase in tax revenues to the county general fund."

Meanwhile, unconfirmed reports are that the General Motors PowerTrain facility in Bay City may be getting additional work shifted from the St. Catharines, Ontario, plant of GM-Canada. The Ontario plant produces high precision transmission components that are shipped to other GM plants throughout North America.

The Bay City GM plant has a history of high productivity and good labor-management relations that may be the key to its future, according to local industrial observers.

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The status of the Bay City GM plant, that employs about 900, has been a subject of concern in city government from the aspect of tax and water department revenues. City Manager Robert V. Belleman said recently that there "was some movement" in the possibility of employment stability and even expansion of the local plant.

Ranking of Bay County's top industrial/commercial taxpayers according to taxable valuation of property, released by the county equalization department on Dec. 31, is:

1-Consumers Energy, electrical and gas utility, taxable value, $250,456,402 (9.07% of county total);

2-General Motors PowerTrain, small engine parts, $126,609,100, (4.59%);

3-Dow Corning Corp., research & development, taxable value $47,332,894, (1.71%);

4-S.C. Johnson & Son Co., plastic wrap, taxable value $45,891,354, (1.66%);

5-Michigan Sugar Co., sugar processing, taxable value $12,731,225, (0.46%);

6-Bay City Mall Associates, retail sales, taxable value $11,611,924, (0.42%);

7-The Herald Company, newspaper printing,taxable value $10,458,832, (0.38%);

9-Charter Communications, cable television, taxable value $7,542,950, (0.27%);

10-Enbridge Energy, gas pipeline/utility, taxable value $5,321,950, (0.19%).

Total taxable value of the top 10 taxpaying entities was listed at $528,170,842, or 19.13 percent of the total taxable value of the county.###

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Dave Rogers

Dave Rogers is a former editorial writer for the Bay City Times and a widely read,
respected journalist/writer in and around Bay City.
(Contact Dave Via Email at

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