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Enviro-Mich message from "Aretta Schils" <squaw@provide.net>

>From the Monroe Evening News 11-1-2000

GM scraps Milan plan

Officials said public sentiment against the project caused GM to let
property options expire.


Evening News staff writer

General Motors Corp. has all but scrapped its plan to build a distribution
center in Milan Township, letting options of more than 850 acres of property
expire today.

"It's a majority of the property," GM spokesman Gerald Holmes said this

Officials said public sentiment against the plan caused them to rethink
their options on the project that would have doubled the township's property
tax base.

Mr. Holmes said the company will look at all of its options, in Milan
Township and elsewhere.

"We haven't abandoned the project," he said, "but we're not going to
purchase any more land at this time."

The plan was for Ann Arbor Railroad Properties, GM's developer for the
project, to purchase more than 1,000 acres near US-23 and Cone Rd. to build
a facility that would transfer GM products from trucks to trains for
distribution across the country.

The project was met with opposition from the time it was announced.

Aretta Schils, a member of a citizens group that has spoke the loudest
against the project, said she's relieved that GM has changed its stance.

"Hallelujah," she said, but added quickly: "This doesn't mean it's over,
they can still come back. I'm happy they used common sense. This never did
belong in a residential area. I have a lot more respect for GM now."

Lynnette Bordine was one of the residents on Cone Rd. whose option was
dropped by AARP.

"I'm upset, that's to be understood," she said. "The main thing now is we're
sitting here..surrounded by abandoned houses," she said, referring to the
nine parcels that the AARP bought on Cone Rd. The parcels are small lots
that the company could easily resell.

After the township board voted 3-2 to rezone the property, signatures were
collected that forced a referendum on the issue. Township residents narrowly
overturned the decision in February after a campaign that divided the

Township Clerk Emily Bowerman, who voted against rezoning the land to
accommodate the project, was happy with the news.

"It's quite a surprise, I'm flabbergasted," said Township Clerk Emily
Bowerman."It's been quite an experience. Now I hope the township can come
together again."

Scott Neinas can be reached by e-mail at scott@monroenews.com or by calling
242-1100, ext. 283.

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