Not everyone in Marshall, Mich., where Ford Motor Co. is building a $3.5 billion battery plant, is thrilled about the plan.
“I think their idea that we need 2,500 jobs here is just nuts,” 72-year-old Dale Borders, who lives in a log cabin several miles from the Ford site, told The Detroit News last week, “because we don’t.”
The newspaper found others anxious about how much the plant, scheduled to open in 2026, will change life in the city its headline called “quaint.” Some of Marshall’s 7,000 residents have put up signs pleading “Stop the megasite” and consulted with lawyers about fighting the project.
“I feel like the guy in Tiananmen Square standing in front of the tanks,” said Fred Chapman, 62.
A Ford spokesperson said the automaker is “committed to ongoing engagement with the community to share updates on our plans.” Officials don’t expect the opposition to slow construction on the 1,900-acre site.
Frank Brownell, 63, lamented that his home along the Kalamazoo River could lose value because the Ford plant is visible from it.
“The manufacturers can manufacture all kinds of wonderful products, but they can’t manufacture farmland,” Brownell told The Detroit News. “I used to farm, and most farmers are stewards of the ground. But when we do this kind of thing, say Ford has this plant for 30 years — that’ll never be farmland again. It’s gone.”