Wayland considers AYSO plan for industrial land

Virginia Ransbottom, Staff Writer

After a Portage manufacturer chose another location and a Netherlands manufacturer failed to come up with financing to invest in development at

Wayland’s industrial park, the Wayland American Youth Soccer Organization has asked the city to transfer ownership of a parcel to invest in a sporting field.

Wayland AYSO regional commissioner Jim Howerzyl made the proposal during the city council meeting Monday, Aug. 4.

Howerzyl said a home field would be a huge benefit to the 350 players in the youth soccer program and bring economic benefits for the city as well, with as many as 28,000 people visiting for tournaments during the soccer season. Those people would shop and eat at local businesses, he said.

While mayor pro-tem Jennifer Antel said she was a big supporter of AYSO, she was concerned about giving industrial property away for $1.

“Business brings in tax dollars and reimburses the city for the money spent on water and sewer,” Antel said. “I understand the draw, but I don’t think this is the location—there’s a lot of concerns that need to be addressed such as wetlands.”

For full story, pick up a copy of the Aug. 7 issue of The Allegan County News or subscribe to the e-edition.

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