Victory in Milan?

Things are looking up for sprawl-busters in Milan Township. As reported two weeks ago in Metro Times, the Milan Area Concerned Citizens thought that they had stopped General Motors from building a huge truck-to-train vehicle transfer station in the middle of their wonderfully sprawl-free community. But GM refused to take “no” for a final answer, despite a referendum that overturned the township board’s approval of the project and the subsequent election of a new, anti-development board. As recently as mid-October GM was fully intending to press the new board with a significantly downsized plan later this month. Now the corporation is changing its tune.

GM spokesman Gerald Holmes says the company is looking at other strategies besides bulldozing in Milan Township. Holmes maintains that while the company has not completely abandoned the Milan project, it does not know whether it’s going to try there again.

“We want to give them time to get settled into their new positions,” he says of the newly elected board. “And in the meantime, we are looking both at other places to do this and other ways of doing it.”

Aretta Schils, a MACC member, is greatly relieved.

“Hallelujah,” she’s quoted as saying in the Monroe Evening News, although she admits that “this doesn’t mean it’s over; they can still come back. “

News Hits thinks a perfect ending to this David-and-Goliath story would be a GM decision to build its facility at a brownfield site in southwest Detroit. Now that Mayor Archer is done wooing Super Bowl XL downtown, maybe he should phone GM World Headquarters. Hey, it’s even a local call!

Jim Dulzo is a veteran Detroit-area jazz broadcaster, critic and concert producer. E-mail [email protected]
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