Township eyes vacant school

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
Brandon Twp.- On Monday night the township board of trustees voted 7-0 to postpone a decision to consider the purchase of Belle Ann Elementary School for offices until they could get a set price at which they could purchase the building.
If purchased, it is unclear what the building will be used for exactly. Some ideas were to use the building as a recreation center, since it has two gymnasiums, or moving the Township offices to the building.
The school has been closed since 2015, and is one of three school parcels for sale in the Brandon School Distirct— Brandon Fletcher Intermediate School and property on Sherman Court in Ortonville are also listed.

“This right here is our issue,” said Candee Allen, township clerk. “We don’t have the space to have a proper board meeting.”
If the township offices were to move, there would be a new board meeting room and more parking for the offices, which was also cited as an issue, added Allen.
“I don’t know what goes on here at the bar on Thursday nights, but you can’t park anywhere,” said Allen. “It doesn’t matter if the sign says ‘municipal only’, they park there anyways.”
Matt Outlaw, superintendent of the Brandon School district, is looking forward to possibly making a deal with the township.
“Belle Ann is a fantastic building and property that the district does not have any current or future use for,” said Outlaw. “The idea of this property transferring to a local government agency that also serves the community is a huge potential positive.”
Other board members were not sold on the idea.
“You don’t move out of a house because you have a broken furnace, you fix the furnace,” said Broughton, trustee.
Other board members said that they liked the location of the current offices and that there was nothing wrong with them.

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