Sustainable business park project deserves support

ACHTUNG: This is not a “fair and balanced” article. It is an editorial by the editor.

Don’t complain about the noise when opportunity comes knock, knock, knockin’ on your front door.

I toyed with the idea of saying that out loud and proud Thursday night when representatives of the “Reimagine Trash” Sustainable Business Park project paid the Dorr Township Board yet another visit to give a progress report. While Darwin Baas and Rick Chapla were explaining things, there were a few nattering nabobs of negativism (with apologies to Spiro Agnew) who continued to try to throw cold water over the enthusiasm.

The naysayers seemed to be suggesting that bringing a newfangled recycling outfit and project to Dorr would overtax the Dorr-Leighton Sewer Authority or would result in requests for tax abatements, sometimes better known as corporate welfare. The embarrassing answers were that sewer and water for the project will be handled entirely by the Byron-Wyoming system and that all business entities these days are seeking tax breaks for their expansions and installations. The onus is on the township boards and planning commissions to decide on their requests.

I agree 100% with the opinion expressed by Dorr Township Supervisor Jeff Miling, who said the project is a no-brainer and likely to be a win-win for Kent County and Dorr.

We must remember that the Kent County Department of Public Works purchased that 250-acre tract along the north region of Dorr Township with the express purpose of using it in the future as a landfill because the facility in Byron Township was nearing capacity. Kent County officials easily could have continued the “business as usual” approach to solid waste and let it grow out of control, just like in too many other areas in a wasteful society.

But kudos to Kent County for having the visioning and foresight to try something new and different by inviting to be anchor tenant a company with a business model of recycling 90 percent of what goes into a landfill and manufacture a usable product to boot.

Continuous Materials Anergia is coming to town with plans to hire 65 people to take in waste and recycling materials and make a roofing material that is supposed to be superior in quality to the gypsum-based material used so much these days.

It sounds like good ole Yankee ingenuity is at work here, with the added benefit of making our environment a better place for us to live, work and play in.

So I heartily support Dorr Township paying its fair share of $200,000 in investment in what appears to be a worthwhile project. And it feels good to pen an editorial is support of something rather than being one of those nattering nabobs of negativism.


  • Mr Young
    With all due respect….You to my knowledge do not live in Dorr Township.
    Do you have any idea the potential problems this project will present.
    Let’s discuss the removal of the excess water the improvements to this parcel will generate. If one lives west of this project that drain that now goes thru our Supervisors property will have to be improved or rerouted to prevent flooding at the confluence of the Red Drian which drains into the Rabbit River.
    Are we led to believe all traffic will be entering and exiting from Kent County. Doesn’t the plan call for a ramp at 144th street? Amazing it’s just before the Dorr exit….looks like a traffic situation to me.
    Of course, we taxpayers worry about tax relief for these projects. What makes the recyclable material in Kent and Alkegan County more attractive, than the material in Canada. Recycling in Canada has not been that successful . When the
    “snake oil ” salesmen come to town our leaders fall all over them to buy in.
    Since you are not in the area any form of toxic run off, air pollution, damage or improvement costs to infrastructure surely is not your concern. The taxpayers of Dorr Township will be paying the bill.
    Thought a minor detail that has quietly disappeared. The nesting habitat of a bat that is on the endangered species list happens to be on that parcel. It’s truly amazing what big money can do. The average citizen would never have been able to build a residence in that wooded area.
    Mr Young at this point in time whatever concerns we have are moot. I was assured this project will never be stopped over two years ago when I voiced my objection.
    The only recourse we as taxpayers have is to stop the giving of $200,000 to this project.
    Because there was never any foresight years ago in the Master Plan to prevent a potential landfill from happening in that area. I know this is no landfill. What happens if this fails is there a guarantee Kent County will not just revert back to making it a landfill ??
    Just don’t see how lucky you think we are. We get all the aforementioned problems, cost of recycling will increase a loss in taxes, not sure it’s “Yankee ingenuity ” when Canadians are involved.
    You are probably correct we must destroy a certain amount of our environment to make another part of it a better place.
    Makes about as much sense as cutting six inches off the top of a blanket, than sewing it to the bottom to make it longer.

  • This story reminds me of the switch data center in Dutton they received huge tax breaks in 2015 and 2020 and in return there it was suppose to create over a thousand jobs over 10 years if You drive by there you will see maybe 6 vehicles and a few heating and cooling Vans in the parking lot even our own state representative Steve Johnson opposed the second tax break.But from what I’ve read these are two different companies Despite reports of Anaergia’s interest, the company issued the following statement noting that the Kent County park was just one of the opportunities the business was assessing and that no deal was imminent.

    “Management of Anaergia confirms that this project is one of the opportunities it is currently exploring, but as is the case with the other potential opportunities, there is no assurance that the discussions will lead to an agreement or project for the company,” the statement reads.The other company is based out of Texas.

  • As always…..in all ways… the devil is in the details.

    Want to know how and why things happen, then follow the money already.

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