Tuscola County seeks halt to own foreclosure on Vassar foundry

Site of former Vassar foundry. (Photo by John Cook)
Site of former Vassar foundry. (Photo by John Cook)

With a potential buyer interested, and hoping to avoid being saddled with a huge liability, Tuscola County officials want to stop their own foreclosure proceedings involving the former Vassar foundry.

Attorneys for Tuscola County Treasurer Patricia Donovan-Gray plan to ask Tuscola County Circuit Court Judge Amy Grace Gierhart for a special order to temporarily halt the foreclosure process. Gierhart is scheduled to hear the matter on March 27.
That’s just four days before the 71-acre site is set to become property of Tuscola County through forfeiture via foreclosure, and barring payment of three years’ worth of unpaid taxes totaling about $120,000. The county would then sell the property in May to recoup the unpaid taxes and any related fees.
The fear is that the (currently unknown) costs to clean up the site will scare away potential buyers and the county will be stuck with the property — and any associated liabilities.
“The clock’s ticking,” said Mike Hoagland, controller, Tuscola County, during Thursday’s county board meeting. “We’re battling time.”
With just a few days between the appearance before Gierhart and the date of forfeiture, the Tuscola County Board of Commissioners has scheduled a special meeting for March 22 to discuss the foundry situation. (Update: On Monday, March 20, the March 22 meeting was cancelled and has not been rescheduled.)
Though on the agenda this past Thursday, Hoagland said there were just too many unknowns to discuss potential outcomes and/or actions related to the former foundry and pending foreclosure.
Tuscola County Commissioner Craig Kirkpatrick said he could see the March 22 meeting being “a long discussion.”
“I have questions coming to mind left and right, right now, that I’d like to ask the treasurer,” he said, adding that his questions pertain to options other than foreclosure. (Read more)

(This story originally appeared in the March 18, 2017 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read in its entirety online here.)

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