Business expansion halted because of wetland dispute - WNEM TV 5

Business expansion halted because of wetland dispute

Posted: Updated:
MOUNT MORRIS TOWNSHIP, MI (WNEM) -

A Mid-Michigan business surrounded by untouched land plans to expand its operation, but those plans came to a screeching halt because of what that untouched land really is.

Protected wetlands surround CRU Paintball on Clio Road in Mount Morris Township.

Nearby homeowners are already furious over previous damage to the wetlands and now a cease and desist order is preventing work at the business until the MDEQ can investigate.

“As far as the city is concerned, he’s on the up and up,” said Mount Morris Mayor Duane Dunkel. “Everything’s going well and progressing smoothly.”

Mayor Dunkel is pleased with plans moving forward to put a paintball park on a parcel of land.

The trouble is it’s a wetland area and work turning it into a paintball area has come to a grinding halt.

Cease and desist signs placed recently by the Genesee County soil erosion office.

Dunkel said the land was formerly owned by the city and it sat unused for years.

He said now that someone else owns it the city can generate income from its sale.

“Now with this private owner we’re going to get that tax revenue and the increased taxes once he puts a building on it," Dunkel said. "It’s nothing but good things for the city. It’s going to be a great thing for the youth of the community to come in and have a fun place to go.”

But some people say there’s no way this property should be used as a battleground for paintball participants.

A man who lives near the property didn’t want to go on camera, but he said years ago residents fought to make the property a wetlands area.

“They should never have sold it knowing it was wetlands, it’s really an undevelopable piece of property,” the resident said.

TV5 tried to contact CRU Paintball, calling the business and stopping by its headquarters on Clio Road, but it’s closed on Mondays.

Meanwhile, Mayor Dunkel said change is always tough for some people and he thinks eventually opponents will change their minds.

“But I would just encourage them to see the good things it’s going to do, and increase of property values across the city,” Dunkel said.

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