Residents speak against proposed power plant at meeting

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RIVES TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WLNS) — Dozens of Rives Township residents showed up and spoke up about a proposed power plant.

Novi Energy proposed a plan to bring a natural gas power plant to Rives Township in 2018. It would be located on about 200 acres of land between Churchill and Baseline roads said to provide affordable, safe, and clean power options to Michigan communities.

But people who live nearby, and their family members, do not want the plant built. Homeowners in the area are asking the township to take steps to make it harder and less desirable for Novi Energy to develop on the land.

The power plant topic was not on Monday’s Planning Commission agenda, but several residents still spoke about the issue during public comment.

Some believe it will cause their property values to go down. Others, such as Megan Short, say it poses a health risk.

“I grew up here. I live in Mason, but someday I’d like to come back, but I can’t do that if there’s a power plant in our back yard,” she said. “I’m a mother of two kids, and my number one job on this earth is to protect them.”

Short also handed commissioners a sheet with language that would say power plants are not an essential service in Rives Township. The commission voted to send the language to the township attorney for review.

However, Roger DeCamp, the chairman of the planning commission, said he was surprised the issue was brought up tonight. He added Novi Energy has not filed any applications to build the plant.

“I don’t know where it came from. All of a sudden, this power plant thing came up,” he said. “Very surprised, but they’re concerned, and they have a right to be. They live in that area, and they’re very concerned.”

6 News reached out to Novi Energy for comment, but were told the person authorized to speak on the matter is on vacation until July.

However, in previous statements made to our media partners at MLive, the company says it believes a lack of information about the plant has caused the concerns.

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