Macomb to lease 35 acres of land for farming

By: Robert Guttersohn | Macomb Township Chronicle | Published September 26, 2012

MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Township Clerk Michael Koehs said 35 acres of farmland owned by the township along Card Road was meant to be a park.

But for an unknown amount of time, the land has been farmed without a lease agreement and without the township receiving rental income.

After discovering the error, the township is looking to lease the large plot of land for farming — legally, this time.

At the Sept. 12 meeting, the Board of Trustees approved leasing the land for $3,588 a year.

The lease will be placed up for bid on the Michigan Inter-governmental Trade System, allowing anyone wanting to farm the land a chance to apply for the lease — including the farmer who was, until September, overseeing the land.

Township Supervisor Mark Grabow said his office accidentally discovered the land and the fact that it was being worked without a lease.

“There was farming going on there,” Grabow said. “(The farmer) will be notified, now that the crops have been removed, that they must bid because they did farm up to this point.”

It is not clear how long or how it came to be that the land was being farmed without a leasing agreement.“I came across it at the beginning of the year,” Grabow said. “It had been going on for years prior to me being here.”

Koehs said the original developer of the land donated it to the township. He said the acreage is lower than the surrounding land, and because of the potential for flooding, the land could not be made into a subdivision.

“It may be OK for farming, but it’s not going to be good for development,” he said.

Township officials said it is likely that former township officials made the deal with the farmer in order to keep the acreage from turning into an eyesore.

“You just can’t do that without a lease,” Grabow said. “It’s township assets being utilized without an agreement.”