Friday night, 18 December 2009, between 10:30 and 11:00 PM, not long before adjournment, the Michigan Senate passed HB 5207, which would strip the open space/public use restrictions from the Colony Farm Orchard land, allowing Western Michigan University to put it to any use.
Most of the senators voting yes probably bought WMU’s claim that passing the bill would create jobs by using it to expand the BTR park. If it would, none of the jobs would come on line until at least 2013, since any expansion of the BTR park would occur after the current park is full. It still has three unused lots, at least two vacancies, and the temporary soccer facility of 20 acres.
I’m working on a longer post, but it’s worth pointing out now that the next step is for the bill to go to Governor Jennifer Granholm, who will sign it or veto it.
For those interested in commenting on the legislation, here is some contact information for the governor. It’s likely that there is time to reach her by any means including US Postal letters but the sooner, the better. Phone calls, letters, Faxes, and emails are all useful.
Contact information for Governor Jennifer Granholm:
Phone: (517) 373-3400
Phone: (517) 335-7858 – Constituent Services
Fax: (517) 335-6863
PO Box 30013
Lansing, MI 48909
Here is a link to an email citizen opinion forum
Here is a link to governor’s standard email.