Village disapproves amending ordinance for Ferrelgas project

BALDWIN — During the Baldwin Village Council meeting on Monday, Sept. 11, council members acted on the Ferrellgas LLC Zoning Map and Text Amendment resolution to ramp up fuel-tank storage on 21 acres in the village. The council approved a motion to disregard the Ferellgas project and further voted against amending the zoning ordinance to zone the 21 acre site as light industrial instead of residential.

Village President Jim Truxton said Ferrelgas wanted to build 13 tanks with a capacity for $30,000 gallons of propane which would be brought to the site on Washington Street via railroad cars.

"The fuel would be hauled and delivered to a huge swath of Michigan to pump into big storage tanks and transports like Fisher Gas and Delongs. Ferrelgas would be using large trucks for transporting and hauling tanks. They stand to make a lot of money with this project," he said. "They would hire about two workers, who probably won't be locals, to manage the sight, each taking shifts so operations could be ongoing 24 hours per day."

Families who live near the site expressed concerns to the village zoning and planning board, according to Trustee Kelsey Bennett.

"There was a good turnout of village residents at the planning and zoning meeting," she said. "They presented a good case for not approving the Ferrelgas project. It would be no benefit to the village whatsoever, and the presenter for Ferrelgas could not answer residents's questions on how this plan would improve the village."

Truxton explained the concerns of the citizens.

"Residents who live near the site would have to put up with noise, traffic and big diesel trucks about 24 hours a day. Fumes from the fuel tanks which would be stored on the site also was a concern. There is no advantage to village residents. If the company hired about a dozen locals, then it may be a little more to our advantage. The operations also might back up rail cars passing through town," he said.