Article published Jun 29, 2007
Sale of Camp Brighton approved for $3.5M
By Zachary Gorchow
GANNETT NEWS SERVICE
After several rejections, the Detroit City Council Thursday narrowly approved the sale of Camp Brighton, a more than 300-acre parcel of city-owned land in Livingston County.
The Chaldean Church is purchasing the property, which at one time had been a summer camp and campground for Detroit residents, for $3.5 million. It had been maintained, but used on a limited basis in recent years.
The sale, approved on a 5-4 vote, is part of the $30 million
in land sales Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick wants to make to help balance the city's budget, a goal that is near, spokesman Matt Allen said.
"We have a lot of assets that we don't utilize and don't need to maintain," Allen said. "General fund dollars go to maintain all of these properties. The less of those we have we can continue to focus on our key neighborhoods ... If we're not going to develop it, if we're not going to fully utilize it, then why are we holding onto it?"
The city still is considering selling Rackham Golf Course in Huntington Woods.
Tax windfall unlikely on camp sale
By Jim Totten
DAILY PRESS & ARGUS
Although the city of Detroit will receive $3.5 million for selling off a 199-acre parcel in Genoa Township, the local community will likely not see any tax revenue from the property.
Camp Brighton was tax-exempt while owned by Detroit, and Township Assessor Debra Rojewski said the property would remain tax-exempt if the Chaldean Church continues to use the property as a camp. Rojewski said the township would conduct a review process to determine if the property should continue to be tax-exempt.
The Chaldean Church is purchasing the property, which at one time had been a summer camp and campground for Detroit residents, for $3.5 million. It had been maintained, but was only used on a limited basis in recent years.
A representative from the Chaldean Church could not be reached for comment.
Genoa Township Supervisor Gary McCririe said he believes the property will remain a campground under the new ownership.
"We don't anticipate any significant change to its use," McCririe said.
The sale, approved on a 5-4 vote Thursday, is part of the $30 million in land sales Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick wants to make to help balance the city's budget.
Mike Archinal, Genoa Township manager, said the new owners have not talked with the township, and he wasn't aware what their plans were for the property. He said the land has no sewer or water service and is located off dirt roads.
Archinal said the property has been a camp since the 1920s. He said there are several buildings, including a conference center, on the property.
He said the property is zoned for public recreational facilities, a designation that would allow for a church.
Camp Brighton — not to be confused by the women's prison facility in Hamburg Township — has been owned by the city of Detroit for decades, and was once used as a camp for city youth.
The camp is between Kellogg and Euler roads, and surrounds Lake Euler. It is just south of nearly 200 acres that was willed to the county for a park by the late Raymond Fillmore.
There are seven Chaldean Catholic churches in the Detroit area. The term Chaldean refers to a branch of Catholicism centered in Iraq.
Contact Daily Press & Argus reporter Jim Totten at (517) 548-7088 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.