by Graham Sturgeon, co-editor

 

Durand area residents attending the Monday, June 12 Vernon Township board meeting were provided with some additional details regarding a proposed industrial development that could bring upwards of 800 jobs to the area. Project developers stress that the facility will “set new standards for environmental performance worldwide,” and will be “the greenest facility of its kind anywhere in the world.”

The first phase of the proposed development, named “Project Tim,” is predicted to cost developers up to $5 billion to complete, and it is estimated that the facility would be 6,200 feet long and 3,900 feet wide. The plant building would require approximately 800 acres of contiguous land, and 10.5 million work hours would be needed during Phase I construction.

A document titled “Land Owners Forum Question Responses,” notes that a thorough environmental assessment will be required before construction begins to ensure compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act. The document also states that the facility will have “No impact to wetlands or floodplains on the site, no effects on groundwater, and discharges will not adversely impact the local water supply.”

The document reports that there will be a “negligible impact associated with construction and operational traffic,” the project will not “have an adverse impact on utilities such as electricity or water,” and that “Noise levels shall not disrupt the neighboring community.” The developers note that the project’s funding source requires the project have a “positive environmental impact,” and that “any project that has an adverse impact on the community will not go forward” until all issues are addressed.

Developers also estimate that the business could generate $19.2 million in tax revenue for the township annually, and could support “240 current and new small businesses with annual sales of $175,000.” Situated north of Lansing Rd.; west of New Lothrop Rd.; north of Bennington Rd.; and east of Durand Rd., the site was chosen by developers due to its proximity to I-69 and the railroad, as well as for its location between Flint and Lansing, and the availability of a highly skilled workforce.

Though some additional project details were provided during the June 12 meeting, many residents are still against the project. The lack of details is still an issue for many. Others are concerned that the proposed facility would be located across the road from the Durand Area School campus, and there are also concerns about emissions, the affect on drinking water in the area, and the legality of the options that have been presented to property owners. The city of Durand is listed as the buyers on the options, and residents are concerned that the company that obtains the options from the city will not honor the agreements.

‘Project Tim’ Discussed at Vernon Township Meeting was last modified: June 19th, 2017 by Karen Elford