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E-M:/ Clean Water Action on Strategic Fund

Enviro-Mich message from "Alex J. Sagady & Associates" <ajs@sagady.com>

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Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 11:56:37 -0700 (PDT)
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To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
From: Cyndi Roper <croper@igc.apc.org>
Subject: Michigan Strategic Fund Hearing

I'd like to thank Lydia Fischer for her posting re: the Michigan Strategic
Fund hearing scheduled for this Wednesday. The following is an op-ed piece
Clean Water Action submitted regarding the MSF's pending decision. We hope
you'll join the Sierra Club, Clean Water Action, the Ecology Center of Ann
Arbor and other groups in opposing this give away.

Cyndi Roper
Michigan Director
Clean Water Action and Clean Water Fund
4990 Northwind Dr., Suite 210
East Lansing, MI  48823
Phone (517) 337-4447  Fax (517) 337-2833


The Michigan Strategic Fund Board is poised to approve up to $80 million in
tax exempt bonds but what the MSF Board might not know about is the
controversy surrounding this project.

The private developers who wish to expand the Central Wayne County
incinerator, which is located in Dearborn Heights. The benefits from this
deal, which will allow the project's investors to avoid paying taxes on tens
of millions of dollars, are so significant that the developers are unlikely
to pursue the project without this tax giveaway. 

But federal and state laws require that these tax exempt privileges must go
toward projects serving the "public good." 

Is the "public good" being served if resolutions opposing the project have
been passed by city councils in seven nearby communities, whose populations
outnumber those of the five communities backing this project?

Is the "public good" being served if city councilors representing the
project communities do not do what is in their communities' best interest in
fear of penalties if they walk away from this boondoggle? (These penalties
could be avoided if the MSF does not approve the bonds.)

Is the "public good" being served if the 52 proposed jobs created by the
project are offset by about $1.5 million each in tax exempt bonds?

Therein lies an opening for taxpayers. We must tell the Michigan Strategic
Fund's Board not to approve this project. One way to let them know of your
opposition is to attend the Michigan Strategic Fund's Board meeting in
Howell at 9:30 a.m. on April 22nd (which is, ironically, Earth Day).

If the Michigan Strategic Fund is, in fact, attempting to be strategic, it
seems that supporting a trash burning facility that endangers the public's
health and harms the environment is not a sound path to follow. Why doesn't
the Fund invest in a state-of-the-art recycling facility that will direct
our wastestream resources toward meaningful end uses rather than burning
them and sending them into the air we breath and into the ground and surface
waters upon which we depend.

Cyndi Roper, Michigan Director, Clean Water Action, (517) 337-4447

Clean Water Action is a national citizens' organization working for clean,
safe and affordable water, prevention of health-threatening pollution,
creation of environmentally-safe jobs and businesses, and empowerment of
people to make democracy work. Clean Water Action has more than 750,000
members nationwide -- over 100,000 of which reside in Michigan.

At 07:16 AM 4/20/98 -0700, Cyndi Roper wrote:
>At 05:39 PM 4/19/98 -0500, Lydia H Fischer wrote:
>>Enviro-Mich message from Lydia H Fischer <lydfisch@mindspring.com>
>>The Southeast Michigan Group of the Sierra Club has been fighting the
>>expansion of this incinerator (located in Inkster) for several years.  The
>>Central Wayne Incinerator Limited Partnership has requested that the bonds
>>it will float to finance the exemption be granted tax exempt status by the
>>Michigan Strategic Fund.  There'll be a hearing on this issue on April 22
>>at 9:30 a.m. at the Marion Oaks Golf Club, 2255 Pinckney Rd in Howell (exit
>>137 on W-B I-96, then south on Pinckney).Sierra SEMG will be testifying in
>>opposition; it's unconscionable that the public would have to help pay
>>through a tax expenditure for a bigger facility that will add noxious
>>pollution to an already burdened area of the state. There is also an issue
>>of accountability as the MSF is an agency of the Jobs Commission which
>>reports directly to the Governor.  Questions to Lydia on e-mail or Anna
>>Holden by phone, 313-331-0932.  Thanks for your attention.

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