Calhoun County Land Bank Authority secures funding to demolish former Union Steel building

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Land Bank, county Treasurer and the city of Albion team up to fund demolition of dangerous, blighted structure

MARSHALL, Mich. – The Calhoun County Land Bank Authority announced today it has secured funding to demolish the former Union Steel building at 501 N. Berrien St. in Albion. The dilapidated building has been vacant for more than two decades and has been an eyesore in the community.

Demolition will be funded in part by the transfer of $500,000 from the Calhoun County Treasurer to the Land Bank. The Calhoun County Board of Commissioners approved the appropriation on Thursday, Dec. 5. In addition, the Albion City Council recently approved $300,000 in financial support for this project. The city agreed to pay in five installments beginning in 2020 and ending in 2024. Existing funding from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) grant was also used to bring this project to fruition.

“I want to thank the Calhoun County Board of Commissioners, Treasurer Brian Wensauer and the city of Albion for working with us towards a common goal of removing a dangerous and blighted structure that has sat vacant since 1995,” said Krista Trout-Edwards, executive director of the Calhoun County Land Bank Authority. “This funding is critical to the Land Bank’s goal of eliminating blight, improving neighborhoods, promoting public safety and protecting home values.”

The $500,000 appropriation from the Treasurer will also cover the cost of intervening in several other structures throughout Calhoun County, including: the environmental remediation of 131 Superior St N in Albion, a handful of residential demolitions in Battle Creek and the stabilization of several houses.

“As chairman of the Land Bank Board of Directors, I’m honored to assist with critical projects – like the demolition of the former Union Steel building – that fulfill the Land Bank’s mission,” said Calhoun County Treasurer Brian Wensauer. “The Calhoun County Land Bank has a positive impact on neighborhoods across Calhoun County by eliminating blight and improving properties, and we’re pleased to allocate these funds to help further that effort.”

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The Calhoun County Land Bank Authority is a separate legal authority that collaborates closely with the Calhoun County Treasurer and local municipalities to eliminate blight, improve downtowns and promote local economic development.