Southwest Michigan Today for Friday July 28, 2017

Jul 28, 2017

Petitioners may be able to repeal a law requiring contractors to pay union-level wages to workers on state-funded projects. The Michigan Department of Environmental Quality says it needs even more info from Nestle about the impact of its water withdrawal proposal. 

Petitioners want to undo an old law that makes contractors offer union-level wages and benefits to people working on state-funded projects. The Detroit News reports they may get their wish. Proponets of the repeal say they’re on track to exceed the more than 250 thousand signatures needed to put the issue on the ballot. What’s more, petitioners are hoping to circumvent Governor Rick Snyder, who originally said he would veto similar legislation. The Michigan legislature can choose to make a proposal into law within a 40-day window without the governor’s signature. Labor groups say the initiative would hurt worker wages.

Nestle needs to provide more information before the company will be allowed to withdraw 210 million gallons of water from an Osceola County well. M-Live says this is the second time the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has requested additional info on how the withdrawal would affect wetlands, streams, and natural springs. The DEQ says right now it cannot determine whether it should grant the permit to Nestle Waters North America. Nestle already draws 250 gallons per minute from the well, but would like to up that to 400 gallons a minute. The proposal has stirred up controversy with environmental groups.

A conflict between city and state election traditions has led to one less candidate for the Battle Creek City Commission. The Battle Creek Enquirer says Reece Adkins’ petition to run for a commission seat was 20 signatures short. The deadline to file the petition was Tuesday afternoon. Under Battle Creek’s city charter, Adkins would have been able to collect the remaining signatures and re-file by next Tuesday. In the past, the city has allowed candidates even more time - until the Friday after. But the state Elections Bureau says candidates are not permitted this additional time. The city attorney for Battle Creek says state law overrules the city in this case.

A plane made a bumpy landing at W.K. Kellogg Airport in Battle Creek Thursday afternoon. The Kalamazoo Gazette reports the pilot manning the small aircraft discovered his landing gear had failed. The plane then skidded for about a thousand feet on the runway before coming to a stop. Neither the pilot nor his three passengers were harmed during the landing.