OSCODA – Developers and buyers interested in purchasing a piece of Oscoda Township property will now have a set of questions to answer before they can make an offer. 

The township board of trustees approved a document during their regular board meeting on Apr. 12 that establishes a procedure for how the township disposes of unwanted parcels. 

“What this allows us to do is have a fair and understandable process so the public knows what the expectation is, and so the board knows what the expectation is when we’re engaging with offers and trying to get to a deal,” Economic Improvement Director Todd Dickerson explained to board members.

It’s a topic that has been discussed several times over the last few months following confusion around multiple offers on the Huron Shores Artisan Hall, and the unofficial listing of Furtaw Field “for sale” on the Economic Improvement Committee website. 

Along with creating the document, Dickerson has been working on creating a master list and map of township owned properties that are not currently in use, or could be made available for redevelopment in the future. That task is still in progress, Dickerson said. 

Once each property is classified as disposable, there are four different routes the township could take to dispose of it. The township could list it with a broker, for sale by owner, or it could issue an RFP (request for proposals) if there’s a specific desired use for the site. The fourth option would be to entertain unsolicited offers as they are received. 

Now with this document in place, any interested buyers will either have to submit a letter of intent (LOI) or a signed purchase agreement. The LOI must include information such as name and address of purchaser, property parcel number and address, purchase price, earnest money, title company, contingencies, inspections and timelines. 

Additionally, all offers must include a project narrative which should describe the intended use for the property and whether it will conform to current zoning requirements, an outline of how the property will be purchased including proof of funds or supporting documentation, a proposed timeline of the project and any phases and a description of how the project will add value to the community.

All offers will be presented to the township board during its next regular meeting, and the board can vote on whether to accept or reject each offer. 

“We didn’t have a policy on what we expect of potential buyers and how they go about making their offers, so with this document we would have that in place,” Trustee Bill Palmer said to Dickerson. “The whole point was to give us an outline of how we expect offers to be made and I think you did a nice job putting this together and I think it accomplishes that goal.” 

While Dickerson is still working on classifying properties, he urged the board to take action on certain sites that have already been established as available, such as the 8.3-acre N. Skeel Ave. redevelopment site located in the Wurtsmith District that is currently listed for $73,600.

“We already had three offers on the Skeel property over the last three months,” Dickerson told board members. “We haven’t selected anyone but there is very strong interest in that property and if you’re comfortable with this disposition process we can move forward with at least that one and start making progress. Skeel’s an easy one, the people that are interested in that one want to put up housing, and we need housing.”

With that, Trustee Steven Wusterbarth made a motion to approve the process for the disposition of real property, and to move forward with accepting LOIs and offers on the Skeel site until May 5. Trustee Jeremy Spencer seconded the motion, which received a unanimous vote. Those offers will be presented to the board during its May 10 regular meeting.

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