Friday, July 31, 2009

The Future of Buick City

After a rousing and, at times, bizarre discussion of environmental degradation and the future of Flint's abandoned factory sites, comes this article by Melissa Burden in The Flint Journal:

Officials have said that an unnamed investor wants to transform the about 220-acre Buick City site into a multimillion dollar rail-to-rail and rail-to-truck intermodal facility, creating up to 600 jobs, plus construction jobs.

"Our hard work may be lost if we don't resolve the brownfield issue," said Tim Herman, chief executive officer of the chamber, which along with other area leaders has spent hundreds of hours on the Buick City project over the past three years.

Herman said at issue is who will have the environmental responsibility going forward on the site. Often times when someone buys an industrial property, the environmental liability transfers to the new owner, Herman said.

"It's not fair to have someone who wants to use this property ... and have him taking on all that environmental responsibility," said Bill Winiarski, chairman of the Genesee County Brownfield Redevelopment Authority.

Strangely, there was no mention of how Star Trek episodes might play a role in the redevelopment projects. (You have to read the first post linked above for this hilarious comment to make any sense.)


  1. Back in the day, we just took everything out back and dumped it. Maybe we knew it wasn't right, but we had no idea how bad it really was. All one has to do is read a little about clusters of leukemia cases grouped around old industrial sites, to know that we should be real careful about exposing our children to this stuff. Dangerous polution needs to be cleaned up everywhere we find it. Worf already has tumors growing on his body, so his vote doesn't count.

  2. Give it a rest. It was someone else who brought up the war in Iraq and torture. Anonymous responded to that comment.

    Here is the comment:

    Sable Pelt said...
    Annonymous, your clear logic has convinced me. I'm sold! Let's just throw up some houses or farms on the old factory sites and start competing with the rest of the world. Maybe a few people will die as a result, but who cares, we need to lower our standards to compete with the rest of the world. Hey, we started torturing people and data mining our own citizens to keep pace in the war on terror, so why not go all the way? Thanks for showing me the light.

    July 27, 2009 9:33 AM

    Yes, it was a tangent, but Sable Pelt started it, and Anonymous responded to that tangent. It is intellectually dishonest and hostile to suggest that that comment came out of the blue. I stand by Anonymous' assessment of the posters here about World War II. The Star Trek episode was a poignant comment about the concept of "peace at all costs" disguised as a time travel science fiction episode.

  3. C'mon Gordon, Anonymous has to be a fake poster. Anon's crazy illogic and spin is just too silly to be real. Probably the Rusty Mitten kids yucking it up.

  4. I've wondered if this is all a big joke. Or maybe somebody who didn't get accepted at UM?

  5. I'm trying to figure out if the intermodal facility proposed for the ex-Buick City site is one and the same as the proposal from several years ago for a similar facility on some land owned by C&O near Durand.

  6. If the new Intdermodal transport facility will move more Belle's Oberon to Atlanta, I'm all for it... sold out AGAIN!

  7. Man, I don't know what to think. If the floridly stupid, hateful Anonymous posts were a hoax, that's pretty disturbing. If they weren't a hoax, that's pretty disturbing. I hadn't been on this site for a while and just read the "bizarre discussion" comments last night -- I was ready to get onboard and flame the inchworm, but today I just feel limpidly bored by his illogic. What bugs me most is the flamboyant suspicion of education, of learning, of an educated urgency to pay attention to what we're obviously screwing up. Just our luck this guy'll be the cockroach who survives after the world expires in the crap we've dumped on it.


Thanks for commenting. I moderate comments, so it may take a while for your comment to appear. You might enjoy my book about Flint called "Teardown: Memoir of a Vanishing City," a Michigan Notable Book for 2014 and a finalist for the 33rd Annual Northern California Book Award for Creative NonFiction. Filmmaker Michael Moore described Teardown as "a brilliant chronicle of the Mad Maxization of a once-great American city." More information about Teardown is available at