Caro Riverview Auto and Recycling closes doors

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A sign in from of Riverview Auto and Recycling was put up July 8 informing customers the business had closed. A potential customer appears to have left some metal anyway. (Photo by Andrew Dietderich)

CARO — A handwritten sign in front of Caro’s Riverview Auto and Recycling on July 8 let customers know the business was closed immediately and that management was sorry for “no warning.”

Jim Kozan, president of the trust that owns Riverview, said it was the easiest way to protect remaining assets of the business – one that has lost money and struggled to stay afloat since his son and business founder Mark Kozan died at age 49 in an April 2014 single airplane crash.

Just before shuttering its doors, Riverview sold most of its scrap metal to Kalamazoo Metal Recyclers Inc. Jim Kozan said he expects Riverview’s equipment to be sold at auction in the next eight to 10 weeks as he works to clean up the property entirely. The company employed about 15.

The 7,500-square-foot building and accompanying 10 acres are for sale, too, and Kozan said he expects to sell it “around that $900,000 mark.”

For more than a year, the entire business – including a cardboard recycling business in another part of Caro – have been up for sale with an asking price of more than $1.6 million, but that was for the business and its assets.

The closing of Riverview marks the culmination of more than two years of dealing with the emotions, logistics, and legal wrangling associated with Mark Kozan’s death, along with skyrocketing costs of things like insurance and attorney fees coupled with plummeting prices for scrap metal.

“Before my son died he said ‘If anything happened to me, I want you to just auction everything off and walk away,’” Jim Kozan said. “Well, we didn’t do that. We didn’t do his wishes.” (Read full story here)

(This story originally appeared in the July 16, 2016 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read online here.)

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