No deal between Evart Township and city

Annexation negotiations fail

Evart City Council met outdoors at the Riverside East pavilion for their regular meeting on Aug. 24. (Herald Review photo/Cathie Crew)

Evart City Council met outdoors at the Riverside East pavilion for their regular meeting on Aug. 24. (Herald Review photo/Cathie Crew)

EVART - No deal was reached as negotiations broke down between the city of Evart and Evart Township regarding annexation of property in the Evart Industrial Park.

City Manager Sarah Dvoracek met with Evart Township board members and their attorney, Eric Williams, on Aug. 13 to discuss a possible proposal to allow annexation of the property to the city's jurisdiction.

"We went into negotiations with the township this past week, those negotiations were unsuccessful" Dvoracek said.

Evart Township supervisor Doug Derscheid said he, trustee Aaron Maney, and Williams met with city of representatives to discuss possible terms of a boundary adjustment or annexation of four parcels.

"The meeting was positive, and progress was made on all of the terms," Derscheid said. "City and Township representatives tentatively agreed on all of the terms, with payment by the business of $150,000 per year to Evart Township being the only open unresolved term. The business offered $75,000 per year, and Evart Township countered at $112,500 per year, and the meeting ended."

They expected a final answer and closure within a few days on the only open term of a tentative agreement, but no further communication was received, he said.

"Our plan to schedule and hold a special meeting right away for the Evart Township Board to consider an agreement for annexation on the terms we discussed never came together because no response was received on the business payment," Derscheid said.

Evart Properties, LLC. had requested the city annex the property to accommodate a planned expansion of a marijuana grow facility in the Evart Industrial Park, part of the Lume Cannabis Company.

Dvoracek told city council members that since the negotiations with the township were unsuccessful, the developer has decided to revise the site plan so that the expansion is all within the city's jurisdiction.

"With the revised site plan, the expansion will not meet the setback on the south side of the building so they will need a variance," Dvoracek said. "The planning commission has approved the revised site plan with the condition that the variance is approved."

The city council, which serves as the zoning board of appeals, will hold a special meeting for a public hearing on the variance request at 7:30 p.m., Sept. 11, and will take input from the public prior to deciding whether or not to approve the variance.

Dvoracek said the revised site plan will not impact the size of the planned expansion, or the 150 additional jobs expected to be created.