Without a doubt, if GM follows through on ceasing production at its Detroit-Hamtramck Assembly Plant – known as the Poletown Plant – Hamtramck will be in a financial crisis.
GM is mincing its words on what will happen to the plant, saying it’s not being closed, but merely work there will cease by June of next year.
The plant’s future, GM says, depends on how negotiations go with its UAW workers.
In the meantime, insiders have told us that its closure is a done deal.
Well, we will all see.
This warning gives city officials time to figure out a plan on how to keep the city going with the loss of $850,000 to $1 million a year we get from the plant. As Mayor Karen Majewski recently said, it will take “creative” thinking.
No matter what, it will likely require a major budget change.
We will pick up on this thread down the road, but the thing that struck us immediately is the city can’t afford to say “no” to new businesses.
Case in point: city officials bowed to an outcry from about 100 residents who vehemently opposed allowing the sale of medical marijuana to happen here or even allow grow facilities from operating.
The city was considering a set of ordinances that would allow those businesses to open — but only in restricted areas. Opponents claimed it would lead to an increase in crime and that marijuana would eventually get in the hands of minors.
We have a feeling these same folks would prevent the sale of alcohol if that issue were ever to come up for a vote.
Instead of Hamtramck enjoying a minor tax windfall from the sale of legal marijuana, Detroit will likely get that business – leaving us behind.
The sale and growing of medical marijuana are tightly controlled by the state, and even getting a license from the state is no easy – or inexpensive – endeavor.
In light of the city possibly losing a huge chunk of change from GM’s Poletown Plant, it’s time to revisit the medical marijuana issue.
We can’t afford to say no.
Dec. 7, 2018