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E-M:/ More on incinerator tax giveaway

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

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Date: Mon, 20 Apr 1998 11:56:43 -0700 (PDT)
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To: <enviro-mich@great-lakes.net>
From: Cyndi Roper <croper@igc.apc.org>
Subject: More on the Michigan Strategic Fund Hearing

The following is a press release that was issued last week. Feel free to
contact any of the listed parties for more information.

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

For immediate release
April 15, 1998
Contact: Cyndi Roper, Clean Water Action (517) 337-4447
Cheryl Graunstadt, C.H.E.C.K, (734) 427-9065
Ed McArdle, Sierra Club (313) 388-6645


	Westland, MI -- Members of the Stop the Burn Coalition today called on
Westland City Council members to help stop the Central Wayne County
incinerator expansion by speaking in opposition to the awarding of tens of
millions of dollars in tax exempt bonds. A decision on approving the bonds
is on the agenda of the Michigan Strategic Fund's April 22nd Board meeting.
The coalition made its appeal on "Tax Day" by handing out to last minute tax
filers at Westland's Wayne Road Post Office flyers highlighting the
tremendous tax giveaway, which could make or break the expansion project.

	"Last fall, Westland residents thought they would receive a definitive
answer to the question of why the City Council was prepared throw away
millions of taxpayer dollars to be a part of this wasteful project," said
Cyndi Roper, Michigan Director for Clean Water Action. Instead, as last
fall's election drew near, several Westland City Council members expressed
their opposition to the project but indicated they could do nothing to stop
it.  Because City Council discussions regarding withdrawal from the
incinerator project were conducted behind closed doors, Westland residents
were never given a comprehensive analysis comparing the costs of pulling out
with the costs of sticking with the project.

	"The Michigan Strategic Fund Board's decision provides yet another
opportunity for Westland City Council members to stop the incinerator
expansion from moving forward," said Ed McArdle of the Sierra Club.  The MSF
Board meeting is scheduled for next Wednesday, April 22nd at 9:30 a.m. at
Marion Oaks Golf Club and Banquet Facility in Howell. This meeting to
determine the fate of this environmentally destructive project is,
ironically, scheduled for Earth Day. 

	The Board will decide whether to approve or deny a request made by the
project's developers to authorize up to $80 million in tax exempt bonds. The
developers have frequently stated they are counting on these tax benefits to
attract investors in order to move the project forward. Without the tax
exempt benefits, the project will be far less desirable on the private bond

	However, according to federal and state laws, the MSF Board is required to
consider the "public good" of the project. "How can the 'public good' be
served by a project which places an extraordinary burden on taxpayers,
increases the public's exposure to toxic chemicals, and destroys recyclable
materials that could be put to good use?" questioned Cheryl Graunstadt of
the Westland group C.H.E.C.K. "This tax giveaway proposal is outrageous, and
we're counting on the MSF to do the right thing by rejecting it."

	Several Westland City Council members conveyed their opposition to the
project as last fall's elections drew near but they thought it was too late
to pull out due to potential lawsuits. "We are asking those council members
who recognize what a bad deal this is for the people of Westland to stand
before the Michigan Strategic Fund's Board and tell them that the public
good is not being served by this project. If they do not, these council
members can no longer lay the blame for this boondoggle on past city
councils," concluded Graunstadt.                    .

	In addition to the objections raised by several Westland City Council
members and numerous area residents, seven nearby communities have passed
resolutions opposing the project. The Stop the Burn Coalition has worked to
educate area residents about this destructive project for over three years.

C.H.E.C.K.of Westland, Michigan Clean Water Action, Michigan Clean Water
Fund, Detroit Archdiocese Department of Christian Service, Downriver
Citizens for a Safe Environment, Ecology Center of Ann Arbor, Friends of the
Detroit River, 
New Era Men's Association of Inkster, St. Elizabeth's Stewards of God's
Creation, and Sierra Club
# # #

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