‘No’ Vote to Plastics Plant Land Transfer

It’s the third straight summer the issue has come up in Ishpeming.

The City Council votes to not transfer a piece of land to a prospective business owner who wants to build a plastics plant that some consider controversial.

Last year, Robert Airaudi and the city agreed to a lease for about 2.3 acres near the old Mather ‘A’ Mine.

Airaudi wants to build a polyurethane manufacturing plant there.

He asked the City Council to turn the deed over to him a year early.

But last night, 3 of the 5 council members voted ‘no’.

Airaudi says he’s disappointed by that.

He says there are quite a few local residents who are out of work to whom he promised jobs at the facility.

Airaudi says he feels there’s some kind of agenda at work that he doesn’t know about.

The lease calls for the plant to be built by the end of June 2011 and for Airaudi to then receive the deed if the plant is operating.

Construction has not started yet.

One council member says she wants to see Airaudi live up to the agreement’s original terms before giving him the deed.

Pat Bureau says Airaudi proposed several changes to the agreement that she wasn’t comfortable with and which she didn’t think were in the best interest of city residents.

Neither she nor Airaudi would say what those changes were.

If the plant is ever built, it would have 30 to 40 full-time jobs.

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