Michigan City fails to block project

(NewsNation) – A judge has ordered a Michigan community to stop blocking efforts to bring a major electric vehicle battery business to a rural region.

Gotion, a China-based manufacturer, was granted a preliminary injunction Friday after arguing that Mecosta County’s Green Township has refused to honor an agreement reached by elected officials who were subsequently removed from office.

Following the judge’s ruling, community leaders say their fight is far from over.

The community was upset by the company’s Chinese connections and voted against the entire city government that supported the project. They thought that by doing that they could prevent the deal from going through. They even tried to cut off the company’s water connections. Gotion sued the municipality and the federal judge ruled that the project should be allowed to move forward while the legal case continues.

Federal Judge Jane Beckering wrote: “The significant monetary and contractual damages that Gotion would suffer if the project, a sprawling undertaking with coordinated construction processes, continued to fall behind schedule qualify as irreparable harm under Sixth Circuit precedent.

“In particular, Gotion has indicated that without guarantees that it will be able to obtain the water infrastructure that is critical to the Project, ‘the Project has been delayed and continues to be delayed with each passing day.’”

The Gotion project has been supported mainly by area Democrats. The community has noted that the federal judge is a Democrat appointed by President Joe Biden.

“(People) are a little disappointed,” said local Lori Brock. “That’s not going to stop us. It makes us determined. We have 85% against Gotion. We are against politicians installing a lithium battery plant in our neighborhood. We don’t want it here, but they shove it down our throats. When we have the support of the community, we will win.”

Community leaders are forming their own zoning board, which they hope will also add hurdles to the project. As for Gotion, they say they “look forward to working with the municipality to move the project forward.”