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Best Financial CU opens first Ottawa County branch

• Feb 1, 2018 at 4:00 PM

SPRING LAKE — A small, aging industrial building had long occupied the corner of School and Savidge streets in Spring Lake Village, but on Jan. 16, Best Financial Credit Union opened the doors of their first Ottawa County branch office in that location.

“We are very excited to become a part of the Spring Lake community and better serve our Ottawa County members,” said Best Financial CU’s President, Morgan Rescorla.

Best Financial CU constructed a new, 2,500-square-foot building that will be the workplace for seven full-time and two part-time employees. They offer their members a wide variety of financial services, including checking, savings, loans and retirement vehicles. A grand opening event took place Jan. 26.

Long before Best Financial CU noticed the property, a number of different types of businesses were operated at this corner, from industrial wood working to metal fabrication. As a result of the chemicals used in those processes, the site had soil and groundwater contamination that needed to be addressed by Best Financial CU when it purchased the property.

The environmental contractor working with Best Financial CU advised them to contact the Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority (OCBRA) for financial assistance for the environmental assessments and clean-up planning that would be needed in order to redevelop the site. The OCBRA was able to help Best Financial CU access multiple financial incentives to offset the additional costs of redeveloping a brownfield site.

The $1.15 million price tag for the project was supplemented by grant funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a loan from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and the capture of incremental property taxes.

Rescorla said this site was exactly right for their Ottawa County location, but being a good steward of member funds is a priority, so securing these incentives were make or break for choosing this site over a non-brownfield site. The incentives offset added projects costs stemming primarily from the removal of approximately 800 tons of contaminated soil, 5 million gallons of contaminated water, and the installation of a vapor intrusion barrier. 

“Village Council and staff are thrilled to welcome Best Financial Credit Union to the Village,” Spring Lake Village Manager Chris Burns said. “Best Financial CU and Ottawa County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority’s commitment to the remediation of this (formerly) blighted property serve as an example of an outstanding redevelopment project. We are optimistic developers can use this site as an example of successful public/private collaboration that can be replicated elsewhere within the village.”

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