Update on Village Variety Store

The long journey to removal of the Variety Store is coming to an end. Following tax foreclosure, ownership of, and legal jurisdiction over, the structure fell to Manistee County.

On TUESDAY, September 19, 2017 the following report to Manistee County Commission was made by County Treasurer Pomeroy.


Russ Pomeroy, County Treasurer appeared before the Board of Commissioners to present his monthly report. Mr. Pomeroy distributed the 2017 Tax Reverted Property Sale Report.

He also distributed and reviewed the Annual Report of Balance in Land Sale Proceeds

Accounts in accordance with MCL 211.78m (8) (h). The Net Balance in Land Proceeds Accounts for 2012 is $24,733, of which $10,000 is reserved against potential claims, with $121,551 balance of previous years report = $141,284 available to transfer to the General Fund.

However, Mr. Pomeroy does not recommend the transfer to the General Fund as the demolition and clean-up of the building in downtown Bear Lake is going to be costly and he would like to see the funds set aside for this purpose. Bid specifications have been released on the dilapidated asbestos building and bids are in the process of being submitted. Bids are estimated to be in the $150,000-$200,000 range. There are numerous possible sources of funds to help with the demolition expenses such as the Land Proceeds Accounts, a submitted Grant to the Revenue Sharing Board, the Foreclosure Fund, and a fund started by the Village of Bear Lake and citizen fundraising events. If the expenses outweigh the cleanup funds, entities that are affected by the taxes of the building will be charged back taxes from the property. The project did not qualify for state grants for blight elimination as there was no future utilization plan. The building and property became County property on March 31, 2017 in the Foreclosure Sale. It is hoped to have the cleanup done by the end of October 2017. Some of the cleanup costs may be able to be recovered if the property is sold in the future.”

It is understood that a bid has been received and accepted but the County has not released it’s November 21st Commission Meeting Minutes as of this publication.

Demolition falls under Federal EPA and State of MI rules:


A request for additional funds has been submitted to Manistee County Local Revenue Sharing Board:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.