IRON RIVER—The Iron River Brownfield Authority will move forward with plans to remove lead paint from the old Central School building, as efforts continue to convert the building into apartments.
The authority voted Nov. 20 to authorize payment to Protech Environmental to remove lead paint from the building. Payments are contingent on a contract between the authority, Protech and general contractor Hovey Companies of DeWitt.
According to Ron Basso, Downtown Development Authority member and consulting attorney, Hovey has agreed to pay $108,000 of the $266,600 cleanup cost. “This is the last commitment we should have to make to clean up the lead paint,” Basso told the authority.
The authority asked attorney Mark Tousignant to craft a document making payment contingent upon the project staying on schedule and within budget.
During a Nov. 21 meeting, the Iron River City Council voted to move forward to amend zoning ordinances for the apartment complex. The amendments need DDA approval before a final City Council vote. The amendments are required to comply with state guidelines, according to City Manager Perry Franzoi.
Contractors should start removing lead paint from the school by Dec. 10 and be finished in time for Wolverine Building Group to begin remodeling the old school by Feb. 1. Meeting timelines is important so developers can qualify for low income tax credits that would expire Dec. 1, 2013, without congressional action.
The Iron River DDA pushed for preservation of the old school and its conversion into apartments. Architects designed 22 rental units plus retail outlets into Apple Blossom Apartments.