CALUMET, Mich. (WJMN) – Following a fire last May that destroyed three buildings and left 41 people homeless in the 100 block of 5th Street in Calumet, the village is set to finalize an application that will award the community a $250,000 Michigan Enhancement Grant to be used towards restoration of the site. Assistance was provided following the fire by State Representative Greg Markannen and State Senator Ed McBroom, who communicated with the State Legislature to allocate resources from the state to help the village.

While some steps remain before redevelopment can begin, the fire site has largely been cleared through federal assistance from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) through the state of Michigan.

“The plan for it is to make it redevelopable, so there are items that need to be addressed before redeveloping,” said Village of Calumet Manager Amber Goodman. “Such as removing the remaining foundation walls, and creating connections with the water and the sewer systems.”

With the deadline to finalize the application approaching on January 21, Goodman says a committee is working through the steps needed to submit, as well as compiling a list of expenditures and best steps to take towards redevelopment. While current steps being taken are not something that will show up visibly at the fire site quite yet, they’ll help remove obstacles developers at the site would run into in the future.

The village is planning to hold environmental assessments, title work, and site surveys down the line. Much of the ground at the site has been replaced with clean material, and the EPA plans to reinspect and address any settling that occurs on the grounds over the course of the winter. While much is still up in the air at this time, following the submission of the grant application and additional steps the village has laid out, development could start to take form within months.

“It is in the middle of the village, it is an area that’s trafficked very well,” Goodman said. “And it is important that we have residents move back into the community or businesses move back into the community, so it is vital for us to move past this.”