Vassar foundry facing tax foreclosure

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

The Tuscola County treasurer plans to foreclose on — and sell — the former Vassar foundry and adjacent land as a result of about $120,000 in unpaid taxes.
Patricia Donovan-Gray, treasurer, Tuscola County, confirmed the plans to The Advertiser on Thursday.
Pending a court ruling that could halt the process, the property owned by Metavation Vassar L.L.C., at 700 E. Huron Ave., Vassar, will be forfeited to the county unless unpaid taxes are paid by March 31.
Donovan-Gray said the property would then be owned by the county and sold at a foreclosure sale to the highest bidder, with the starting bid determined by the amount of owed taxes.
County records show about $41,000 in unpaid taxes owed for 2014, about $44,000 for 2015, and at least $39,000 for 2016. The amounts are based on three parcels under ownership of Metavation Vassar.
Ryan Londrigan, brownfield coordinator, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, has been working with officials in Vassar and Tuscola County to redevelop the site.
He told The Advertiser the foreclosure “might be a good thing” because it could allow a potential buyer to get the foundry at a lower rate than its most recent listing rate of $750,000. Redeveloping the site could be easier, too.
“If the property moved into local control, it might even make it easier,” Londrigan said. “Everything from the sale price to the buyer’s allowable uses, even getting in there to do preliminary investigations, is a lot easier to do.”
Neither Londrigan nor Brian Chapman, city manager, Vassar, said they were aware the property was headed for foreclosure due to unpaid taxes.
Chapman said he questioned how Metavation’s ongoing bankruptcy proceedings could play into the foreclosure. Donovan-Gray said it was something she was investigating, but as of Friday the foreclosure was set to proceed.
“If the county goes to sell it…the city will still work with whoever buys that property to make it a viable operation,” said Chapman, who didn’t rule out the possibility of the city putting in a bid. (Read more)

(This story originally appeared in the Jan. 7, 2017 print edition of The Tuscola County Advertiser and can be read in its entirety online.)

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