A Northern Michigan animal shelter is speaking out against a proposed battery plant in Mecosta County.
The county’s only shelter, the Animal Rescue Coalition or ARC as its commonly known, in Big Rapids said they are worried about the negative impact the proposed Gotion plant would have on its animals.
Cate Arroe, the Director of ARC, said she might have to shut down once work on the Gotion plant starts up. She said construction is slated to start sometime in July, and that it’s not enough time for her to make alternative plans.
“We chose this property 11 years ago because it is peaceful, it’s quiet, it’s safe. We can walk the dogs on the road, never see a car. We walk out in the woods. It’s just a beautiful place to be and also to have an animal shelter,” said Arroe.
Arroe said she’s worried about the impending plant coming to her neck of the woods over their lack of transparency.
“One of the biggest problems is that we never really get straight answers to questions about timelines or locations. They change the amount of acres that they’re going to need. They’ll change the location. And in fact, just last week, they changed from being across the road from us to being right on top of us,” said Arroe.
Arroe said starting construction behind the shelter as opposed to across the street will impact their operations and be stressful for the rescue animals.
“This gives us very few options. We cannot operate if they are right on top of us. The dogs can’t. There’s no place for us to walk the dogs. The animals would not be safe here by themselves. They would be stressed with all the noise, all the trucks and traffic going on,” said Arroe.
Arroe also said she has concerns that the noise pollution from the construction and the plant itself, that’s expected to run 24 hours a day, 6 days a week, will be traumatizing to the animals, especially at night.
The director also says being an animal lover, she’s also worried that construction on the property behind the shelter, could ruin diverse wildlife in the area.
“I am beyond sad about all the wildlife that’s going to be destroyed because this really isn’t industrial here. They can call it that. But there’s bear, there’s bats, there’s deer, there’s babies being born now, and that’s all going to get plowed down,” said Arroe.
9&1O News reached out to spokesperson and Vice President of Gotion North America Manufacturing Chuck Thelen.
Thelen said the area behind the shelter is zoned for industrial purposes and they gave the shelter an offer worth many times her property value. He also said they offered to buy additional land for her to erect a new facility on.