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on ERIM's new location, and will probably take ERIM to court. In the meantime, Dr. Bill Brown is attempting to sweeten ERIM's proposal. He's offered a non-tax contribution to the city budget, whatever the tax court rules; he's also offered to give 8 or 10 acres of the Conductron property to the city or county for a park.
But whatever he does or does not offer, it's probably all right with the Ann Arbor city council. Monday night the Republican-dominated body gave its informal assent to the Ann Arbor move. Only HRP councilwoman Kathy Kozachenko (Second Ward) voiced any objection.
The situation isn't much different over in the county building where the bond issue must be approved. ERIM's application was to be considered at the Sept. 26 meeting of the Ways and Means Committee, County Board of Commissioners. From there it is to be forwarded to a county board meeting on October 2.
One of the few commissioners to declare against the bond issue so far is Kathleen Fojtik (D-Ann Arbor). She says she's opposed to it because of the nature of the research, but also says it's likely to hurt Ann Arbor's tax base and create "an unnecessary precedent." Although empowered by a 1963 state law, the county has never offered tax exempt industrial revenue bonds before.
To date commissioners have mostly been concerned about the property tax question. Seven of the board's fifteen members are Republicans. Since they're presumably favorable to R&D enterprise, it will take only one Democrat to pass the bond proposal. This will probably happen, for the simple reason that only three or four commissioners are mustering moral or ideological objections to the research being done at Willow Run.
-David Stoll & Al Werner