EAGLE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) – Fewer than 3,000 people live in Eagle Township. Many who live there say they are drawing the line when it comes to the building of a new mega site on 1,600 acres of farmland.
Dozens gathered for a public meeting on Thursday, and residents did not hold back when telling township officials how they really feel.
Chants of “we don’t want it” could be heard from many throughout the crowd.
“This project is just an extremely wasteful use of farmland, and it would completely change Eagle Township and this entire area in a very negative way,” resident George Bedard said.
Bedard said he’s lived in Eagle Township for more than 30 years, and what he cherishes the most is the farmland in the area.
Bedard added that industrial development has no place in Eagle Township, and many residents shared with officials during tonight’s meeting that they feel the same.
“This is going to impact our legacies, what we have to hand down to our children and our grandchildren. We live out here for a reason. We want to see the stars at night, and we want to see green fields in the day,” another resident said.
“This is my adopted township. I came here from Independence Township, Oakland County. What’s going on here has ruined my hometown. It doesn’t need to ruin this one,” said another resident
If approved, the project would transform 1,600 acres of the area’s farmland into one of the largest industrial development sites in Michigan.
“It’s clear there is lack of information about the prospective Michigan Manufacturing Innovation Campus (MMIC). The number one goal of this campus is to create economic opportunities that support the future of our communities and protect our quality of life,” said Victoria Meadows, Chief Strategic Officer with the Lansing Economic Area Partnership. “We believe we can create new jobs and opportunities without changing our agricultural heritage and way of life. We encourage everyone to get the facts, by visiting the MMIC website at www.MiManufacturingInnovationCampus.com where they can learn more. We hope to continue this conversation and educate our community in the coming weeks and months.”
It’s part of a statewide strategy to increase economic growth.
“Family farms are the backbone of America. I don’t know where y’all think your food comes from, but it comes from farms, and by shutting that down, you are literally taking food out of American’s mouth,” said a third resident.
Residents say the lack of transparency by township leaders has shattered their trust in elected officials and now residents say they want township supervisor, Patti Schafer, out.
“Because of these actions, because of your withholding of information from the Eagle residents, we have initiated a recall process through Clinton County. The paperwork was put in yesterday, and petitions will be circulating shortly to that effect,” Bedard said.
Residents say the bottom line is they want any future zoning changes to be under township control.
Township supervisor, Patti Schafer said the board is waiting for a comprehensive plan from a consultant before anything moves forward.