LOCKE TWP, Mich. (WLNS) – Some Locke Township residents are pressing township leaders to intervene with possible land development by Granger Waste Services.
Some are hearing it’s going to be a solar farm, others are skeptical it might be a landfill.
This was the first township board meeting after supervisor Dorthey Hart met with Granger officials about concerns that a new development could possibly be a landfill. While the waste management company said it’s interested in a solar plant, some residents are still not convinced.
“So I want assurances from you guys that you nail them down on that. Don’t let them be vague and say we want to get into renewable energy,” said resident Kristin Babel.
Babel was one of 10 speakers who pressed township leaders about concerns around Granger Waste Services’ recent acquisition of 11 parcels of land. The meeting comes nearly a month after company officials met with the township’s supervisor to share plans for expanding their energy portfolio into renewable sources.
While some speakers were concerned about a landfill still being part of the plan, others pushed back on the proposed solar farm.
“It seems like as a society we might come up with a way that we can find soils in places that are ideally suited for this sort of use. And not take out some of this land that we are dependent upon for cattle, and dairy and farm and feed and these sort of things,” said resident Ron Calhoun.
Back in November, a spokesperson for Granger Waste Services said the company was in the very early stages of proposing a solar farm on the currently zoned farmland. At the time, they were looking for a project partner.
In an email, he said there have been no updates on planning.
Locke Township Supervisor Dorthey Hart said through emails with the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and energy, she learned any landfill projects would have to meet county requirements first.
Hart says the township has yet to see any proposals from Granger.
“I presume at some point in time we’ll receive an application or inquiry but at this point, I don’t have any communications with Granger. But at some point, I expect something in the future,” said Hart.
Hart said she felt confident at the time when Granger officials shared their plan for expanding into renewable energy. Locke Township joins a group of other small communities that are seeing proposals for solar farms, including Conway and Cohoctah Township.