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MiniJ
July 30th, 2008, 02:43 PM
The following is an editorial from the Traverse City Record Eagle on the proposed amusement park....looks like it's all a big sham. Let's hope the DNR does the right thing and says NO to this project:



Editorial: Pols' push for land sale fails accountability test

For months, just about everyone outside the state Department of Natural Resources and the Natural Resources Commission wondered why a bizarre proposal to build a huge theme park on state land outside Grayling was still under consideration.

Now we know politics. And politics of the worst kind: Accountability-free, the kind you can simply walk away from when things go south.
Democratic Reps. Joel Sheltrown of West Branch and Matt Gillard of Alpena are apparently pushing the DNR to sell the land no matter what.

Sheltrown says the possibility of creating new jobs is worth the risk. Really? To whom?
Certainly not to Sheltrown, who doesn't even represent Crawford County. If he wins re-election in November he'll be term-limited and will have to leave the House by the end of 2010.

And not to Gillard. Though he actually represents the area in question, it won't be for long. He's already term-limited and is serving out his last five months in the House.

Sheltrown's analysis of the risk to the rest of us and the state is brief, if not deep.
"A lot of people have failed in business," he said. "There's no guarantee."

Of course there isn't. But it is the obligation of state officials to do the due diligence required before turning over 1,700 acres of state land for a project that, so far, has been all talk.

Sheltrown, however, is in full tough-guy mode. "She better have some pretty good reasons, if she says no," he warned, referring to DNR Director Rebecca Humphries.

Want reasons? How about the continued lack of financing after years of promises? Or the fact that the lead developer was involved in a similar project that went belly up in Indianapolis, leaving contractors holding the bag for millions? Or that Remington Financial Group of Philadelphia, believed to be a potential financing source, is under investigation in two states for allegedly taking millions in fees from clients but failing to provide loans?

No private company in its right mind would move ahead with questions like that still on the table. Why should the state?
In fact, why aren't Gillard and Sheltrown demanding the state do more digging into Axiom's request for $11.5 million in state grant money and its apparent plan to actually subdivide the land and sell off 1,100 acres.

The real question should be why Humphries would even consider a sale until those issues are resolved.
Humphries and the Natural Resources Commission cannot bend to strong-arm tactics by two northern Michigan lawmakers, particularly one with about 150 days left in office.

They must do the job they were hired and appointed to do and put state interests first.

Creative Fab
July 30th, 2008, 04:54 PM
You always believe everything you read? It's an editorial from someone who is obviously against this proposal. Do you think the author has the nuts to go tell the residents of Crawford county that the potential jobs this park will bring are not good for them?

The "wheeling" you do in Grayling is not enough to support the local economy.

93trackaddict
July 30th, 2008, 05:41 PM
lets talk land. They arent making anymore of it. I sell new homes for a living, and this may sound ironic but I hate to see state land or any land for that matter dotted with new lots and houses. My father and I own 600 acres and we are in the process of purchasing 80 more near our houses. We do this because we want to protect the area from housing development. It may seem greedy to some but to us it is merely having some backbone to do what you believe. I think this is becoming a problem with society today. We are all a bunch of pushovers and spineless jellyfish.

joe_jeep
July 30th, 2008, 05:54 PM
lMy father and I own 600 acres and we are in the process of purchasing 80 more near our houses.

is there a reason we aint wheeling on your land for 30 bucks a head?:poke:

93trackaddict
July 31st, 2008, 07:25 AM
i have honestly given it thought, I just dont have the time right now and I feel my time can be turned into larger gains in other areas. Maybe someday when life slows down a little.:thumb:

MiniJ
July 31st, 2008, 11:05 AM
lets talk land. They arent making anymore of it. I sell new homes for a living, and this may sound ironic but I hate to see state land or any land for that matter dotted with new lots and houses. My father and I own 600 acres and we are in the process of purchasing 80 more near our houses. We do this because we want to protect the area from housing development. It may seem greedy to some but to us it is merely having some backbone to do what you believe. I think this is becoming a problem with society today. We are all a bunch of pushovers and spineless jellyfish.

This is exactly the issue!! We cannot afford to just be tearing down forests to build houses that will sit empty because no one is buying, or the company goes bankrupt and can't finish building, etc.


Ironman, I know what you mean about jobs, we need them. But what we DON't need is another failed amusement park like what happened in Flint. This proposed one for Grayling is so full of holes, it will never make it. I'm not against finding something realistic, fun and that provides jobs, but this isn't it. If you knew either of these state reps personally, you'd know they are just in it for themselves. Having to work with them on a daily basis here in Lansing you learn quickly who not to trust-and these are two of the worst offenders.

I'd love to see something prosperous that is enjoyable for everyone, but taking away state land (even if it is by the highway), is still taking away land that many animals use for food and shelter, takes away places for families to walk in the wood, takes away places for us to wheel, disrupts the natural biology of streams, wetlands, etc....they paved paradise to put up a parking lot. When are we going to say NO! enough is enough!

Creative Fab
July 31st, 2008, 01:43 PM
I dont think an amusement park is a good idea either, at least not in Grayling. Who wants to travel around the great lakes just to get to it. (MI surrounded by water) But if Shelltrown is trying to bring $ to a depressed economy then I cant see where he is off base. There is nothing else in it for him, that I know of, enlighten me.

What else can be brought to the north that would employ the unemployed? You certainly do not want them all moving to Lansing.

MiniJ
July 31st, 2008, 02:28 PM
There is nothing else in it for him, that I know of, enlighten me.

Money for his re-election, support for his bills (or promise of no opposition to them), backdoor deals with developers, business owners, lobbyists, etc..... all sorts of shady political dealings. All politicians do this, but some are worse than others.

Having dealt with both of these Reps through my boss, they do not know how to conduct themselves properly. This is one of the unfortunate sides of term-limits...they(all legislators) have no sense of how to cooperate, make good deals, be nice or think of others before themselves. There are no consequences and they can just do something and leave it for the next guy to take flak for if it doesn't go well.

It's a good idea to bring jobs everywhere, but when it involves something like this, you have to wonder what's in it for the person pushing for it...believe me, there is always something.

MiniJ
July 31st, 2008, 02:45 PM
Here's the agenda information for the meeting, which is Aug 14. It's the second to last item on the agenda. Second link is more detailed information on the project.

http://michigan.gov/documents/dnr/agnAUG08_242604_7.pdf

http://www.michigan.gov/documents/dnr/19980101-Sale_of_Dedicated_State-owned_Land-Axiom-Crawford_County_242598_7.pdf