SALINE, MI – In a move towards neighborhood solidarity, Saline Mayor Brian Marl expresses his support for the township and county officials’ protest at a private wastewater treatment plant in Lodi Township.
The private factory project is near a pending housing development by Red Equities, LLC in the township that borders the northeast corner of Saline. At a special meeting on June 16, the Washtenaw County Council of Commissioners urged the Michigan Department of the Environment, Great Lakes and Energy to deny a permit to the private developer over density issues. housing and pollution.
Read more: Washtenaw County Commissioners Oppose New Wastewater Treatment Plant
Saline will help a “neighboring municipality in need,” Marl said, noting that he had had conversations with Lodi Township supervisor Jan Godek about the concerns.
“When there is a neighboring municipality and a friend in need, you mobilize and support them,” he declared during the meeting of the municipal council of Saline on Monday, June 21.
Utilities, such as the sewage treatment plant, should not be provided by private entities, Marl said.
“Private utilities are not the gold standard we should be aiming for in the large saline community or in the state of Michigan,” Marl told MLive / The Ann Arbor News. “The private sector often does things more efficiently, more efficiently than those of us in government, but a notable exception would be utilities. “
The aim should be to encourage developments to connect to local public systems, Marl said.
“This should not allow an indefinite number of private systems,” he said.
Saline also opposed the developments of private public services in the township of Lodi in 2007, Marl said. It involved a 112-acre plot on Wagner Road, according to city documents.
“There are precedents for the action just taken,” said Marl, adding that this support from Lodi Township is “in the spirit of proper land management, sound public policy. “and neighborhood support.
Washtenaw County Commissioner Shannon Beeman, D-Manchester, said last week that the Township of Lodi had “the right to make land use decisions concerning their own community” instead of private interests , with reference to the master plan of the canton of Lodi.
The county council resolution also indicates concerns about the housing density of the development, as it is supposed to be a “pastoral residential area” according to the Washtenaw County Comprehensive Plan. The two Red Equities developments, called Arbor Preserve North and Arbor Preserve South, would add 434 units.
“The proposed density and location for the (two developments) is inconsistent with both the vision articulated by the Washtenaw County Comprehensive Plan and the Lodi Township Master Plan,” the resolution said.
The density of the development is less than what the required zoning allows, said Red Equities spokesperson Buzz Silverman.
“The resolution as a whole was designed to create a negative impression of the proposed facility that is not supported by the facts,” he said.
Residents have raised concerns with county council about phosphorus releases exceeding state limits, said Evan Pratt, county water resources commissioner.
“Washtenaw County has participated in over $ 30 million in water quality improvements over the past 15 years. Much of this has been done to reduce the level of phosphorus in our water, ”he said in a statement. “In light of all of our work to reduce contaminants and improve water quality, it would be frustrating to see a permit issued for a facility that did the opposite.”
National regulations limit phosphorus discharges to 1 part per million. EGLE can check development discharge levels without outside influence, Silverman said.
“EGLE’s request for a private municipal wastewater treatment plant is in full compliance with all state laws and regulations, including Michigan’s Environmental Protection Act,” he said in a communicated. “EGLE should be allowed to grant or deny our permit application on the sole basis of what the law requires without taking into account political pressure from special interest groups.”
Red Equities expects the plant to be located at the intersection of Waters and Wagner Roads and discharge the treated sewage into the Rouse Drain, according to Lodi Township documents.
The new private plant would have higher standards than the old public plant that would be right next door, Silverman said.
“We are building our wastewater treatment plant immediately next to another wastewater treatment plant that drains into the same stream,” he said, noting that the old plant has about 25 years.
Marl clarified that the problem was not with red stocks in particular, but that it was to avoid private public services.
“I’m sure their reputation is good,” he said. “But as a state, our approach should be to facilitate and encourage developers to connect to regional and municipal water and sewer systems.”
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