News and Notes on the
Or What could be the future
News and Notes on the
Or What could be the future
PUblic Against the "Megasite Mess"
d1/18/23. City of Marshall Public Hearing on the transfer of 4 properties from Marshall Township (within the "proposed Marshall Megasite") to the Town of Marshall.
A standing room only crowd, the majority being opposed to the Michigan Megasite, attended the Public Hearing to express their views on this transfer, which is a necessary step in order for the Megasite Industrial Project to move forward. Moving the site into the City allows the Mega-site access to city utilities (water and electric).
Unfortunately the microphone normally available for public comments was not functioning or turned off making it difficult for those at the back of the room to hear all the speakers. The room was too small for the crowd with dozens left standing in the hall outside. 38 people addressed the Councill.
Thirty (30) of the speakers were in opposition of the land transfer and the Marshall Megasite project. These speakers included directly affected by the Industrial Site. Speakers spoke to the light, air, noise, traffic pollution which will occur as a result of the site as well as the possibility of ground contamination and the sites proximity to the Kalamazoo River. Residents living on Michigan Avenue, 15 1/2 mile road, Ceresco, Marshall, and Squaw Creek especially expressed their outrage over the proposal. Several attendees said the project has not been adequately advertised and that the process has not been transparent . Many attendees had only heard about the "Megasite" in the last week.
Of those who spoke for the project,(eight in total) two are directly compensated by MAEDA. James Durian, Executive Director, of MAEDA/Choose Marshall, stated that he lives in Mason, Michigan. He read a statement as to the perceived economic benefit of the project. We wonder if Durian (who was hired in 2020) WILL Choose Marshall by eventually moving to OUR quaint small town after the creation of the Mega Industrial Park. After all, it will be a much more inviting place to live!!!
Richard Lindsey spoke in favor of the land transfer. He also let everyone know that he lives happily (on the other side of Marshall) Township) in a historic home that he enjoys renovating. As he said this, we wonder if Rich had any consideration of all the people in the room about to lose their way of life, home, culture, farmland, property value etc.??
Richard is employed by MAEDA and is the guy that goes out and convinces elderly township residents to sign options to sell their property to the state. Because we all know that the elderly ESPECIALLY want to move out of the home they've lived in for decades.
A few other people spoke in favor. All citing the wonderful jobs!! We're surprised that no one talked about how they dream of walking around the big industrial park at night, trying to see stars, wondering if the frogs are dying along the Kalamazoo River, and reminiscing with friends about the wonderful fields of corn or historic farmsteads in this location. Nope, Just about the jobs. What are these jobs? We still don't know? We don't know the company that's interested. What kind of jobs, how many, where will workers come from? Where will they live?
No one explained how life in Marshall would be better in Marshall? Someone for the Megasite said there would be more kids in school! Yay! But we also heard from one young Marshall resident who shared her story about being in an underfunded school and understaffed school. Creating "Jobs" without creating quality life for your residents is foolish. We heard from residents who LOVE their quality of life as it is and BELIEVE that this will REDUCE their quality of life. None of these residents claimed they needed jobs. In fact, none of the people present claimed that they wanted jobs. Those who spoke against the MEGA site said they CHOSE to live in Marshall because it is a small historic town with friendly people and that they feel safe in this community as it is. They cited the aforementioned consequences of the Proposed Megasite.
Sadly, The City Council did NOT listen to the will of the people. They listened to the FEW people in the room who have orchestrated this plan WITHOUT public input or buy-in or NOTICE.
Someone on the Council said that these "residents" asked for these properties to be included in the City of Marshall.
Gee, is it that easy??? What if Marshall residents want to transfer their property to Marshall Township and decide to sink a well in their backyard and bypass city Water? Is it THAT easy?
Why do the property rights of a FEW township residents, overwrite the rights of hundreds or thousands of township and Marshall residents. Why are THESE property rights More important? Hundreds of people will lose their homes as a result of the Megasite. Others will lose the value in their property. We all know that the City Council isn't representing these fellow citizens. They are representing corporate interests.
Bottom line. You don't help people, by harming them.
At the end of the Public Hearing, the City Council Approved the land transfer and spoke favorably about the "proposed Megasite Project" that they were well aware of, while members of the public just learned about last week. This is no day of rejoicing for them.
This vote issue will STILL have to be voted on at Marshall Township. If this is approved by the Marshall Township Board, the proposed MegaSite is one step closer to reality. It ALSO will mean that Marshall Township Residents will NO longer be able to vote on what happens with this property which, if the state exercises its option, (purchases the site) it would be sold to MAEDA. (Marshall Area Economic Development Alliance). If you're unable with how these decisions have been made, you should contact the MAEDA BOD.
Posted on the MAEDA Website 1/19/22 are MAEDA Board of Directors. Listed below
Matt Davis, Chair
George Jakat, Vice Chair
Kelli Scott, Treasurer
Richard Lindsey, Secretary
Ryan Traver (Serves on Marshall City Council)
We are concerned residents who are oppossed to the State of Michigan's plant to create a 1,600 acre industrial park outside historic Marshall, Michigan. Instead we wish to see a 1,600 acre recreational area on this site which runs along two miles of the Kalamazoo River. Save Historic Marshall, Save Michigan's Agricultural Land and Protect Michigan's green spaces!