Brownfield Redevelopment Opportunities in Van Buren County Michigan

Van Buren County Commerical BuildingFor Meeting Agendas & Minutes, scroll to the bottom of this page!

Brownfield Redevelopment is a term used in urban planning to describe land previously used for commercial or industrial purposes. Such land has been contaminated with hazardous waste or is feared to be so contaminated. Once cleaned up, such an area can become host to a business development. Land that is more severely contaminated and has high concentrations of hazardous waste or pollution, such as a Superfund site, does not fall under the Brownfield classification.

The Van Buren County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority stands ready to work with local communities and businesses in support of redevelopment of Brownfields throughout the County.
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Michigan Program Overview

In Michigan, Brownfield sites can be found in cities with long histories of heavy industry, large-scale manufacturing activity and also in small towns and rural areas. Brownfields are defined as properties that are contaminated, blighted, functionally obsolete, and can include historic properties. Regardless of their classification, all Brownfield properties face economic impediments to reuse and redevelopment.

The MEDC is the State of Michigan’s economic development agency and through the Community Development Programs offers guidance for local-government officials, prospective developers and businesses as they navigate through the Brownfield redevelopment process.

The Community Development staff at the MEDC provides administrative support for redevelopment incentives awarded by the Michigan Strategic Fund (MSF) under the Brownfield Tax Increment Financing Program (Act 381 of 1996). Brownfield TIF allows a local governmental unit to continue to receive the existing taxes on the property, capture the increased tax revenue resulting from a redevelopment project, and use that incremental tax capture to reimburse the developer to help offset the costs of environmental and non-environmental eligible activities. Under a MSF approved Work Plan or Combination Plan, projects can seek reimbursement from state and local property taxes for the non-environmental eligible activities and their costs including demolition, lead and asbestos abatement, infrastructure improvements, and site preparation. 

Other funding sources for these types of projects include the Michigan Community Revitalization Program and potentially existing Michigan Business Tax (MBT) Brownfield credits that have been previously awarded to the property. Please note that previously approved MBT Brownfield credits will be honored; however, no new credits will be allocated.

The incentives administered by the MEDC have led to increased private investment, job creation and the cleanup/improvement of the Brownfield conditions at these sites. These activities are completed throughout the state and in coordination with the Community Assistance Team, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) and the Michigan State Housing Development Authority (MSHDA) Brownfield and redevelopment programs, and the United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) Region 5 Brownfield Program.

In June of 2002, the Van Buren County Board of Commissioners established a County-wide Brownfield Redevelopment Authority to assist in the revitalization of contaminated properties throughout the county. The Authority is administered by the Van Buren County Land Services Department. Current funding has been made possible by the captured taxes and return of grant dollars from 3 separate US EPA Assessment Grants since 2007.  The Authority is able to use funds to assist in the redevelopment of eligible contaminated properties for various activities including:
  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessments
  • Soil and Groundwater Sampling
  • Asbestos Surveys
  • Baseline Environmental Assessments
  • Due Care Plans
  • Brownfield Planning
  • Remediation & Cleanup
The Authority continues to solicit projects from throughout the county that require financial assistance with assessing potential environmental roadblocks or concerns. Michigan’s Brownfield Redevelopment programs are some of the best in the nation – providing communities and developers of Brownfields with:
  • Liability protection
  • Opportunities for reimbursement of environmental expenditures
  • Michigan Business Tax Credits
  • Opportunities for low-cost loans
  • Reimbursement of demolition, and asbestos/lead abatement costs
The Brownfield Redevelopment Authority meets at 2:00 PM the 2nd Tuesday each month in the Van Buren County Records Building, 226 E. Michigan Avenue Paw Paw MI 49079.  Public is welcome and this meeting operates under the Open Meetings Act.
Meeting Agendas Meeting Minutes
3/8/16 2/9/16
2/9/16 12/8/15
Meeting Cancelled Due to Weather
12/8/15 11/10/15
11/10/15 10/13/15
9/8/15 8/11/15
8/11/15 7/14/15
7/14/15 6/9/15
6/9/15 5/12/15
5/12/15 4/14/15


Authority Chair
Lisa Phillips
Department of Land Services Director
Edward VanderVries
219 Paw Paw Street, Suite #302
Paw Paw, MI 49079
Ph (269) 657-8243 x15
Fax (269) 657-8235

Preaplication Meeting Agenda
Project Application Forms
VBCoBRA - Reimbursement Procedures
VBCoBRA - Evaluation Guidelines
VBC0BRA - Application Procedures

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