Former GM plant could become recreational park

(Source: WNEM)

A piece of automotive history in Mid-Michigan may soon have a new purpose.

Decades ago, the Saginaw Malleable Iron Plant created metal castings for GM.

The property is now vacant, but the county and state are working to strike a deal to make it an area for hundreds of families to enjoy.

“Hiking, biking, birding. Opportunities to view wildlife, interact with nature. On a beautiful corridor on the Saginaw River,” said Brian Keenan-Lechel, director of the Saginaw County Parks and Recreation Department.

Lechel has been working with the Department of Environmental Quality on a plan to purchase the property from Racer Trust, an organization that works to renovate old GM sites.

“Racer has been working closely with the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, reviewing the plans for the proposed usage and the DEQ indicates that it is a viable usage for passive recreation opportunities on that site,” Lechel said.

Lechel said the state is looking to have a lease agreement with the county for handling day to day operations. He said the benefits from investing in this project will help to revitalize the area.

“For those folks and their kids and grandkids to come back and see what once was, but now interact with a really beautiful natural space will be quite an opportunity for Saginaw. And we’re always excited for those types of opportunities,” Lechel said.

Lechel said they hope to begin work on the proposal with approval from the EPA in the fall of 2018.

County commissioners will discuss the proposed lease agreement at a meeting on April 17.

Copyright 2018 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.


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