MARQUETTE, Mich. (WZMQ) – The DJ Jacobetti Home for Veterans is planned to move from its current location of the former St. Mary’s hospital to the former Cliffs dow site. Michigan Veteran Homes hosted a second public forum discussing the progress Tuesday evening, and the public seemed split between supporting the change and opposing the shift in location.
Due to the chemicals that have contaminated the land in the past, a big topic at Tuesday’s forum was around how the mandatory environmental assessment is being done. “The site we have actively beenin dialogue with the city of Marquette is know a piece of the former cliffs dow site, which transparently has a histroy,” commnted MVH Dir. of Development Ryan Engle.
Although the Michigan Veterans Home is working closely with the Department of Environment Great Lakes and Energy to ensure it’s safe, starting construction of the new facility has to wait for approval and documentation from those testing that it’s safe for veterans. EGLE comments from its research, volatile organic compounds were found on the site, such as methanol.
“There was a large removal of waste at the north end of the site as well as a significant removal by the city of waste material from the central portion of the site,” explained EGLE Environmental Analyst Steve Harrington. That removal was in 2011 and one of the opinons that was often voiced during the forum was about the recent testing, Navy Veteran Daniel Jackovich is in support of the testing being done, but explained he’s still on the fence of the chosen site.
“We’ll I think the biggest concern for us as Veterans would be the contamination I worked there for approximately 4 months in 1965 before I went to the navy so I know what was out there I know what it was all about,” commented Navy Veteran Daniel Jackovich.
EGLE shared that the chemicals that are still present can be controlled and are very well known by the department, however until safety of the site is documented, the deed restriction on the property that prohibits residency will remain in place. “It can be used for residential purposes and it is just a matter of putting the right controls in place,” continued Harrington.
If the project is approved, the city of marquette will be able to sell the prperty to the MVH, and construction can begin in the spring of 2024. If the location is determined unsafe, new sites are being disussed and the timeline would be extended to most likely spring of 2025.
Click here, to view more information on the new site for Michigan Veteran Homes D.J. Jacobetti.
Click here, to view the renderings of the current project.