Approval of KMHC plans reflect village’s effort to embrace commerce

By: 
Dennis Mansfield, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

Construction crew members work to install a new lift station near the KMHC campus last summer. The installation was part of a project to relocate village-owned infrastructure after Kalkaska agreed to vacate portions of Coral and Second streets, paving the way for KMHC to expand without encroaching on neighboring residential areas.

 

KALKASKA – Soon, the Kalkaska Memorial Health Center will commence with a more than $14-million renovation and expansion of its campus along Third Street in Kalkaska.

However, more important to village officials, the project is progressing – in part – due to what they believe to be a more friendly and progressive effort to help businesses locate in the community and expand, rather than be a hindrance.

“Sometime before I was brought on board I understand there was a survey conducted and it showed the village was viewed as being too unresponsive to businesses who wanted to locate here or expand,” said Scott Yost, village manager.

“So, I instituted the ‘Manager’s Statement’ as a conditional attachment to site plan reviews,” Yost added. “This way a project can keep moving ahead, even though there may be some things to work out yet.”

And, the KMHC project seems to be a good example of the change in policy and attitude.

The village’s Planning Commission on Feb. 1 approved KMHC’s site plan for the upcoming construction project. That followed a site-plan review by Yost and winning the approval of voters last spring, when residents in all 12 townships of Kalkaska County, as well as in the village, approved a 10-year, 1.6-mill millage renewal by a better than 2-to-1 margin.

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