Residents pack Durand City Hall to learn more about proposal to bring industrial manufacturing plant to Shiawassee County

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DURAND, Michigan (WJRT) - (07/17/17) - Nearly one thousand acres of farmland in Shiawassee County have been bought up as a part of a land purchase option...for a plant....that is still a mystery to those who live nearby.

Monday night -- residents wanting to learn more packed Durand City Hall.

All new - ABC12's Amy Hybels talks to residents about their concerns and what the project coordinator calls "the opportunity of a lifetime"

"Is this a done we have any say," queried Debra White.
Her frustration was echoed by residents who are leery about the impact a large scale manufacturing plant might have on their community.

Dr. William Foster, who has organized an opposition group to Project Tim explains why he thinks the location is not appropriate:

"It's quiet, it's rural, we have farmland and it doesn't fit within the Shiawassee County Master Plan," he noted.

It's been dubbed "Project Tim"--named after the man who is most involved with the project, but the name of the company is a closely guarded secret as the financing is still being put together .

Monday night the City Manager presented information about how bringing a large scale manufacturing plant to the region would benefit the community.

"We know there's a lot of speculation but I can promise you will have never seen anything like this in your lives," Colleen O'Toole said.
The more than 4-billion dollar project is supposed to create more than 800 jobs, use renewable energy, increase housing values and tax revenues.

Resident Mike Frizzelle says Durand cannot afford to not consider the project.

"My support comes from the area of just making sure that Durand grows, giving something back to your children."

Most of the land that is being "optioned" to make way for the project is farmland in Vernon Township.

Miguel Garcia and his fiancee are in the process of purchasing a home which is across the street from land within the footprint. While he's all for bringing more jobs to the area, Garcia says this is not the right place to build a large scale manufacturing facility.

Troy Crowe, a broker who is securing the land purchase options tells ABC 12 that he has secured close to 1,000 acres of land needed for the project--he's now in the process of securing homes in the footprint.

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