In long session before a packed board room, Orion Township’s Board voted 6-1 to instruct attorney Dan Kelly to file a motion to set aside the consent agreement reached with Waste Management to expand the Eagle Creek landfill. Trustee Mark Crane cast the only dissenting vote based primarily upon concerns over the possible legal and financial implications of the decision. The first of which is a good faith offer to return the $100,000.00 the Township has already received and spent the greater portion of on the new Orion Center.
There was a steady stream of unhappy homeowners who are concerned about the impact of the landfill’s effect on their own already declining property values as well as the health and safety implications. It was also pointed out that in absence of an up to date environmental study, there was potential negative impact for the Township as a whole if aquifers which run under the area of the landfill and ultimately feed the areas many lakes were to become contaminated.
While the homeowners viewed this as a positive first step, there is still a long way to go on this issue. As Mary Ann Ryan, one of the most prominent organizers of the opposition stated, “We are sure to have to deal with WM’s response which will be negative – they will probably want to sue.” At this point Waste Management has not commented. The board also discussed the need to engage a company to provide the environmental survey and an alternate attorney to provide additional consultation on the legal aspects of their decision.
The latter came as a result of resident Joe Geraci’s presentation of his own detective work on negotiations between Waste Management, previous Township Supervisor Matt Gibb and current Township attorney Dan Kelly. Geraci pointed to several circumstances of at least perceived impropriety on their part in earlier negations. Based upon this perceived distrust on the part of the community, the board felt the hiring of additional consul warranted.
Monday night’s meeting was a clear victory for the Township residents, but this issue will be one of continuing importance and will require continued involvement. Concerned residents should pay attention to upcoming Board meetings. If you have additional questions Mary Ann Ryan 248-391-2513 and Joe Geraci 248-391-5962 are the people to contact. Additional comments from those in the Township who did not attend the meeting can be posted here.