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Posted: 04/17/13

Bruce finalizes deals for
acreage at 36 and Hipp

Observer Staff Writer
      Land at 36 Mile Road and Hipp Road will be tilled and dug up with the approval of two agreements.
       Bruce Township officials have finalized a five-year lease agreement with Ingleside Farms to continue to be the stewards of 143 acres of township property.
       The board has also received a check from Enbridge for selling easement rights for roughly five acres of land so the energy company can install new oil pipelines.
       After months of discussions and negotiations, the farmland will continue to remain in the care of the Schapman family. In return, the family will pay the township an annual contribution for use of the land.
       The agreement calls for the family's previous donation of $3,000 to increase to $5,500 to match market value. This equates to $68 per tillable acre, and will be paid every April for the duration of the lease.
       Clerk Susan Brockmann said the board initially agreed to bid out the property, but instead decided to negotiate with the Schapmans to work out a reasonable price.
       "They have always helped to keep trespassers off the property and not let anyone use recreational vehicles, hunt or fish," she said. "They have done it in a neighborly way, but now it's official."
       However, with the agreement, Brockmann said Bruce Township will pay taxes on the property. The township will pay $5,200 in taxes, and with the $5,500 donation, nets $300.
       "We don't want to do anything wrong, but I don't know how we could've got away with this contribution for so many years," she said.
       Supervisor Richard Cory said though the township will pay taxes on it, he is pleased the land will continue to be looked after by the Schapman family.
       "They have taken care of that land, watched over it and treated it like it was their own for nearly 30 years," he said.
       Enbridge land use
       The township sealed the deal earlier this month on a easement purchase agreement with Enbridge for just under five acres of land at 36 Mile Road and Hipp Road. The board approved the agreement with a 5-0 vote on March 20.
       The township received a check of $38,425 from Enbridge to use the township land to install new oil pipeline next to a current line. In addition, Enbridge can use the bought property to store its trucks and equipment.
       "After they leave, the site is put back the way it's supposed to be," Brockmann said.
       Enbridge and the township also signed off on a four-year recognition, allowing Enbridge to use the property but to pay for any damages. Brockmann said any crop damage based on the construction will be reimbursed to the farmer, such as re-fertilizing the land or replacing soil.
       "It's a combination of damage to crops and the inconvenience for being on the property," Brockmann said.
       Brockmann said the amount for the crop damage will not be determined until a later date when the impact can be studied.
       Enbridge's project will affect Bruce Township as it installs 210 miles of pipeline. The east-west pipeline will start at Dequindre and run north of the Ford Proving Ground next to 36 Mile Road.
       The pipeline will veer north for .5 miles past Hipp Road, then move three miles north of Ebeling Road before heading north two miles south of Reid Road.
       Construction is expected to begin in August or September and last into 2014.
       Cory said a big company like Enbridge gained approval at the state level for the pipeline so the township can't do much about it. However, he said Enbridge has given its word to work with landowners.
       "When a pipeline cuts through residential streets and people's septics and wells, it's huge, it's a big concern for those people," he said.

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