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Will Erim Get County Approval?

Will Erim Get County Approval? image
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When the SUN printed last week that the Willow Run war research laboratories wanted county fmancial support so they could move to Ann Arbor. we didn't think there was any way to stop them. Now we're not so sure. Approval of the labs' application for S3 million in tax exempt industrial revenue bonds by the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners is no longer a foregone conclusión. Sept. 27 a motion to deny the bond request at a board subcommittee lost by only a tie vote. The committee then voted to refer the bond application to the Ann Arbor School District, delaying the county's final vote on the matter two weeks. .. While the delay gives opponents of the bond issue time to organize, Commissioner Kathleen Fojtik (Ü-Ann Arbor) called the tie vote "a fluke." Only eight of fifteen board members were present; besides Fojtik, who introduced the motion. voting against the bond were Elizabeth Taylor(D-Ann Arbor), Raymond Schoultz (D-Ann Arbor) and AlanToth (D-Ypsilanti). The bond issue is being referred to the school district as it was to Ann Arbor City Council because it, like the city, will lose part of its tax base if the non-profit, state-supported and tax-exempt labs move to the former Conductron factory on Plymouth Road. Since their separation from the University of Michigan two years ago. the labs have been renamed the Environmental Research Institute of Michigan (ERIM), a Corporation set tip by the state legislature and the University so that classified military research could be carried on without interference from anti-war sentiment on campus. The labs continue to work on the sophisticated electronic battlefield weapons used to track down Che Guevara in Bolivia in 1 967 and employed extensively in the Indochina War. It had been expected that the County Ways and Means Committee would perfunctorily refer the matter to the board for final approval. Now it is not expected to come before the committee again until October 10, after which the first Board of Commissioners meeting is October 16. Although all seven Republicans and several of the Board's Democrats are presumed leaning toward approval of the bond issue, there is now time to persuade them not to.