waterway to connect us with the mainland. This doesn't seem like a bad thing on its surface, and Lord knows,
I don't like getting stuck on the mainland when the ice is flowing and the ferry can't run.
However, the ferry service is overseen by the State of Michigan... the owner of the service cannot raise rates until he submits his reasons to the state and they agree and approve the rate hike. The bridge developer is under no such restraints. Now, they say that they can deliver their service for a few dollars cheaper than the ferry, but I have my doubts. What I do see, is them undermining the ferry's business until it is forced under and then they can raise the rate to whatever they wish and they still WON'T be under any obligation to the residents or under state supervision. You may have seen the problems that Canada and the U.S. are having with the old fart that owns the Ambassador Bridge in the news... basically, they have no jurisdiction over such an important asset because its "private property". The same would apply to any bridge that was built over the St. Clair River to provide egress onto and off the island.
They've thankfully run into problems getting Coast Guard and D.E.Q. approval. Now, they've bought up property here on the island with plans to carve out tons of dirt and sediment to build luxury condos in direct violation of our zoning ordinances (they have requested variances from our zoning board). The idea is to install cluster housing, which
will increase traffic to far more than our ferry service and the local road can support, which will mean expanding the roadway, which will also mean providing an excuse for the Township to pressure Lansing to instruct the Coast Guard and D.E.Q. to be more "cooperative" on the bridge in order to handle the increased traffic to the island.
That really burns my ass. I'm all for new people enjoying island life, but we already have homes available and it doesn't require them dredging up acres of land to install private marina spaces or re-routing a major road for our
residents in order to accomodate them. Not to mention the environmental impact of disturbing sediment that has been covering "Chemical Alley" deposits on the river bottom for decades; just who is going to pay for the cleanup when all of that shit starts re-entering the water table? I'm pretty sure it won't be Lucky 7.
Thankfully, they've failed to get said variances, but it was a 5 to 3 decision and they still have the financial means to appeal the decision in court. Although, the ordinance seems clear, so I don't know how they could prevail... except they have tons of money and money can make things happen (pricks).
I can only hope that Dorothy DeBoyer, Anthony Antkowiak and George Lyle never come looking for my vote for any office in the future. Their votes in favor of this gross disruption and displacement of our island's character has guarenteed them my anti-vote. I can only think many others on the island will also remember this.
Harsens Island News Blog