Michigan's Brownfield law is designed to encourage and assist developers who want to return property to productive use more quickly and at a lower cost than before, while still protecting human health and natural resources. Owners and operators of contaminated sites are no longer required to pay for cleanup actions unless they caused the contamination. Flexible cleanup standards give developers the option of proposing a solution to historical contamination based on future use of the property.
Tax Increment Financing Feature
The Brownfield tax increment-financing feature has been expanded to allow for cleanup of contamination and for asbestos and lead abatement, and certain infrastructure improvements supporting the project. The Bay City Brownfield Redevelopment Authority may capture all new taxes except debt millage and millage not captured by a pre-existing entity. A project "work plan" must be prepared for any environmental remediation activities and approved by the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. Additionally, a "work plan" must be prepared for infrastructure improvements, lead and asbestos abatement, demolition and site preparation that is not a response activity and approved by the Michigan Economic Growth Authority.
Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA)
The City established its Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (BRA) on November 1, 1999 pursuant to the Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act, Public Act 381 of 1996, as amended. The Authority and the City Commission are responsible for review and adopting Brownfield Redevelopment Plans to promote the revitalization of properties that are functionally obsolete, blighted or environmentally distressed throughout the City.
Boosting the Economy
In 2011, the BRA, Mayor and City Commission approved 4 Brownfield Redevelopment Plans that upon completion of construction will facilitate more than $160.1 million in property investment, 897,300 square feet of new or renovated commercial and industrial space, an excess of 1,000 new jobs, and more than 150 new housing units.