Lenawee County, Adrian, Tecumseh set study session on Project Phoenix

ADRIAN — Conversations regarding the proposed Project Phoenix recreation and events center are scheduled to continue next week.

The Lenawee County Board of Commissioners will conduct a joint study session with the Adrian City Commission and the Tecumseh City Council from 5 to 6 pm Monday, June 6, at the old Lenawee County Courthouse in Adrian.

Administrators, according to a news release from the Lenawee County Administrator’s Office, will be collecting questions from the Adrian commissioners and the Tecumseh council members in advance of the study session “to organize necessary subject matter experts and expedite the study session’s efficiency.”

“This will be a working project study session and not an official meeting for any group,” the release said. “The public is invited to observe, but no public comment will be allowed during the meeting.”

Lenawee County Administrator Kim Murphy said she is excited that the study session has been scheduled, as the county commissioners have “heard the feedback and requests from all three entities to further collaborate and discuss the potential project for Lenawee County.”

“While we are still very early in the process of this project, there are understandably many questions,” Murphy said in the release. “This will provide these groups an opportunity to get some of those questions answered.”

The county is exploring building a recreation and events center on the site of the former Tecumseh Products Co. plant in Tecumseh. It is nicknamed Project Phoenix because, like the mythical phoenix that rises from the ashes of its predecessor, the project would restore a blighted property into something useful. The county bought the land for $2.3 million.

Tecumseh Products is working with environmental regulators to clean up contamination in the groundwater at the site. Most of the buildings have been torn down.

The Adrian City Commission met May 9 and passed a resolution in a 6-0 vote saying it is too soon for them to take a position on Project Phoenix. Mayor Angie Sword Heath was absent from the meeting, which was attended by representatives from the city of Tecumseh and county.

“This is a very big and exciting potential project with a lot of moving pieces,” Murphy said in the release. “The commission is not ready to vote on Project Phoenix at this time. We fully anticipate that when we are ready to call for a vote, it will be done at an evening meeting of the Board of Commissioners. Additionally, we anticipate having some public meetings in the future in which we can present more information to our residents.”

Beyond the scheduled June 6 study session, the county has two regularly scheduled meetings in which Project Phoenix information will be formally presented to the Board of Commissioners, the release said. Those meeting dates are 10 am June 7 during the personnel/ways and means committee meeting, and at 1:30 pm June 8 during the board’s regularly scheduled meeting.

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