March 18 10:31 PM

Land swapis pending

Bank, fairgrounds negotiate exchange for corner of M-53 and Borland Road

A land trade between the Lapeer County Agricultural Society and Tri-County Bank would give the fairgrounds 60 acres for future expansion and the bank 3 acres of prime real estate on M-53. photo by Maria Brown.

October 07, 2009
IMLAY CITY — Three weeks from today, members of the Lapeer County Agricultural Society will be asked to vote on a proposed land trade between the fairgrounds and Tri-County Bank.

On the table is a plan to exchange just over three acres of fairgrounds property at the corner of Borland Rd. and M-53 for about 60 acres of bank-owned land at Borland Rd. and Almont Ave.

Society President Rodney Warner said the proposal will be made and voted on at the society's annual meeting on October 28.

"I think this will work out well for everyone—the bank, the fairgrounds and city," Warner said.

Warner said that the society bylaws state that the board of directors can buy property but not sell land without a vote by the membership. The board also understands the significance of the swap.

"We wouldn't want to make a decision like this with just nine people," Warner said referring to the board.

As part of the agreement, Warner said the bank will also donate funds to the ag society toward the construction of a ticket booth.

Warner said the board of directors doesn't have big plans for the 60 acres of farmland as of yet but thinks it would make a great place for overflow parking, an issue they've been dealing with for years. The property, once destined to become a housing development, is currently zoned for residential use, the same designation the fairgrounds currently holds.

"This could also give us the chance to expand and maybe enlarge our facilities," Warner said.

"There is actually no place else for us to go. We don't have the money to buy 60 or 20 acres, for that matter."

Naturally, plans for both properties would be contingent on approval from the city's planning commission.

Details will still be negotiated but at the moment, both sides have agreed the fairgrounds will complete its 2010 season before the bank takes possession of the property.

"The fairgrounds are a great asset to Imlay City," Warner, who is also the city's mayor, said.

"During the fair and the Wood-N-Water weekend, the hotels and restaurants are busy."

Warner said the board believes relieving traffic jams and related problems around major events at the fairgrounds will extend their goal to be a good neighbor to residents in the area.

Official word from Tri-County Bank on the transaction was unavailable by press time.

The annual meeting will be held at 8 p.m. on Oct. 28 at the city hall in Imlay City.

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