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GM sites ready to redevelop

• Aug 26, 2016 at 12:00 AM

A potential developer withdrawing from negotiations is a setback; however, remediation efforts continue as planned at four sites of former General Motors plants in the Lansing area.

More importantly, Joe Rogers from the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality confirms there are no safety concerns from soil or groundwater pollution at the sites. The property in Delta Township, on Canal Road, is already acceptable for redevelopment and requires no further monitoring, he said.

The Revitalizing Auto Communities Environmental Response Trust — the organization tasked with cleanup of former GM sites — and the Lansing Economic Area Partnership, are actively marketing the properties for industrial redevelopment projects and continue to be optimistic.

For the community, confirmation from the DEQ is great news.

Both the R.A.C.E.R. Trust and DEQ have plans to monitor the other three — two in Lansing Township on Saginaw Street, one in Lansing on Verlinden Street — where trapped contaminants will have to be removed from bedrock over the course of a few years.

Plans to redevelop are moving forward at all four sites. R.A.C.E.R. and L.E.A.P. must keep seeking projects that will bring jobs and revitalize the unused sites. Ultimately, that will be good for the region.

In the mid-1990s, times were tough. But when General Motors considered pulling resources out of the Greater Lansing region, a committee formed — including business leaders, local government officials and education professionals — to entice the Fortune 500 company to not only stay, but reinvest.

Greater Lansing residents are still reaping the benefits.

The inside story of the “Keep GM” movement is now something everyone can read, thanks to former Lansing Mayor David Hollister and others.

A new book, "Second Shift," will hit bookstores today (Aug. 26). It provides background and details about the model of leadership that underscored the effort. The book was written with DeWitt resident and former committee member Ray Tadgerson, as well as MSU professors Tomas Hult and David Closs.

This is not only a story about regional cooperation, but an example of the significant impact a success can have. It also provides a framework to follow for leaders throughout the region moving forward.

LANSING STATE JOURNAL (AP)

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