By Mike Kruzman /

Fenton City Council is considering a bid for 86-parcels that could be developed following remediation and restorative efforts.

During a recent economic downturn, the City of Fenton received a number of properties in tax foreclosure. Earlier this year they put 86 of those vacant lots in the Orchard Hills Development up for sale. The City received one bid, from Sterling Construction, and Council discussed further action during their online meeting, Monday night. Sterling Construction has done work in Oakland and Macomb counties, building commercial, condominiums, and custom homes. There are a couple obstacles that would come with the purchase of the land, which owners seemed amenable towards fixing.

One issue at the site is the presence of arsenic in the soil, which would be removed at the developer’s expense. Fenton City Manager Lynn Markland said arsenic tends to stay where it’s at inches below the soil and doesn’t migrate like other chemicals might, making this easier to be removed.

The other requirement for Sterling would be interim fixes to Maple Tree Drive, with it ultimately being replaced at the developer’s cost. Assistant City Manager Michael Hart said Sterling will have performance bonds issued for both the arsenic and the road repairs. A memo in City Council’s agenda packet reveals that the City will receive $610,084 for the property purchase and another $75,250 to defray unintended costs to the City’s budget and wear and tear upon its infrastructure.

Hart’s memo recommended that City Council award the bid and approve the City Manager to sign a purchase agreement, but no formal action was taken at the work session.