Thursday, September 1, 2011

Group gives up ballot initiative to stop Honeywell plant

Posted By on Thu, Sep 1, 2011 at 10:05 AM

It looks like the Honeywell plant will go ahead as planned.
  • It looks like the Honeywell plant will go ahead as planned.
Kansas City Peace Planters, a group trying to prevent Honeywell from building a shiny new weapons plant, have given up on their effort to get the issue on the November ballot. The group had collected more than 4,000 signatures on a petition to get a vote on the plant on the ballot, but the City Council voted to block the measure from being put before voters.

On their website, Kansas City Peace Planters released a statement saying that fighting the council on the matter would lead to a drawn-out court battle. The statement read in part, "The group has reviewed certain documents provided to it by the interested parties today. The documents are classified as “sensitive” by the Federal Government, and are, therefore, subject to dissemination restrictions. Based on a review of the documents, KC Peace Planters has concluded that even if they were to prevail in the action currently pending in the Jackson County Circuit Court, all parties involved would necessarily be embroiled in litigation for the foreseeable future."

Kansas City is subsidizing construction of the plant, which will build non-nuclear components of nuclear weapons, with $815 million in bonds. Earlier this week, Mother Jones published an article saying that the plant will be the first privately owned nuclear weapons plant in the nation. From the magazine:

The new plant would be run by the same government contractor as the old one—Honeywell—and proponents say the only major change will be more jobs and city infrastructure. But there will be another big difference: The federal government will sublease the property from a private developer, who in turn will lease it from the city for 20 years … after which the developer will own it outright.

Rachel MacNair, who coordinated the petition for Kansas City Peace Planters, said in the group's statement, "Of course, litigation is not the group’s intent. Our intent is to be active in the legislative process in a constructive way. We believe we can impact society more positively in the months and years ahead if we are able to focus our energy and resources on peace initiatives, rather than litigation that may be framed by pre-existing contracts."


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