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July 13, 1984 - Image 3

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Publication:
Michigan Daily, 1984-07-13

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The Michigan Daily - Friday, July 13, 1984 - Page 3
CONTROVERSIAL PLANT MAY BE COMPLETED

11
to
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u
c
e

Midland talks approach resolution
Bechtel, the construction contractor for the plant. That is the same figure proposed by ABA
From staff and wire reports In another development, Gov. James Blanchard Tnay bs the Cogurs proposad byvABA
Consumers Power Co. made a new proposal to save said if the cost of abandoning the plant is not much the charges to be spread over 15 instead of 25 yes
its beleagured Midland nuclear plant and appeared different than completing it, the project should be The cap also would not apply if the project
o move closer to a plan offered by large industrial completed. But he said Consumers could be cancelled under "conditions beyond our contr
customers. financially viable with or without the plant.
However, the offer by the nation's 10th largest "It would be helpful to have the plant, but it's not Falahee said.
utility was immediatley blasted by Assistant Attorney needed right away," Blanchard said. He said he is IF THE cancellation were beyond the compar
General Hugh Anderson as even less acceptable than talking to the key players in the negotiations every control, the cost to ratepayers would be left up to
earlier proposals. day, but would not reveal the content of his Public Service Commission.
"I THINK we may be moving backward," he said. discussions. Overall, Anderson said, the Consumers prop

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was
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y's
the
sal

"I think we are extremely close," said Consumers
Vice Chairman James Falahee after he met with a
coalition of critics of the project.
Another meeting with the coalition was tentatively
scheduled for today - the day Consumers said it
would abandon the plant if no agreement is reached.
CONSUMERS has already laid off 1,500 workers at
the Midland construction site, and a decision to scrap
the plan will mean the firing of 4,500 additional
employees, including 700 Ann Arbor employees of

UNDER THE company offer, customers would pay
no more than $2.9 billion for a completed reactor -
the same as proposed earlier by Consumers and the
group of industrial ratepayers represented by the
Association of Businesses Advacating Tariff Equity.
But the key part of the proposal involves what
would happen if the project had to be abandoned.
Under the company's new offer, customers would be
charged no more than $2.5 billion in that case.

would mean rate hikes of between 54 percent and 85
percent, depending on whether one or two reactors of
the original two-unit plant were completed.
Consumers proposed delaying any consideration of
the unfinished reactor's cost until one unit is done.
"That is, we feel, just out of the question,"
Anderson said.
IN ITS offer, Consumers also accepted ABATE's
See TALKS, Page II

Chill out
This polar bear takes a dip in ice-cold water to beat the summer temperatures at the Detroit Zoo.

REBECCA KNIGHT/Daily

Blanchard predicts zero increase for

LANSING (UPI) - Gov. James
Blanchard yesterday boasted about a
zero-increase 1985 budget which he said
may be unique in the nation, but there
was continuing confusion about the
figures involved.
Blanchard's budget department does
project that general revenue spending
for fiscal 1985 will be $11 million to $12
million under the current year level.
But the legislative fiscal agencies are
using somewhat different figures.
"WE'RE TURNING this state
around, insuring our financial recovery
and insuring that the temporary tax in-
crease remains temporary," Blan-
chard said at a news conference called
one day after lawmakers completed
work on a $5.436 billion spending plan.
Blanchard noted the budget provides
increases of 12.2 percent for school aid
and 11.2 percent for higher education.
He did not mention that in both cases,
spending was increased from the levels
he had recommended at the insistance
of Senate Republicans.
The University will receive $182.1

'We're turning this state around, insuring
our financial recovery and insuring that the
temporary tax increase remains
temporary.'
- Gov. James Blanchard

985 budget
year is out Sept. 30. That means the 1985
budget will represent a decrease of
about $12 million.
The House Fiscal Agency estimates
current year spending at $5.406 billion.
Budget Director Robert Naftaly said
that projection does not include a $25
million supplemental appropriation
which will be necessary before the year
is out to cover welfare costs.
ADDING THAT it raises the total to
$5.431 billion, still about $5 million
below the 1985 budget. Naftaly said dif-
fering projections of school aid fund
revenues explain the remainder of the
discrepency.
The Senate Fiscal Agency projects
spending the year at $5.297 billion.
figure does not include a recently adop-
ted supplemental appropriation of $39
million, however, or the welfare sup-
plemental which has not yet been adop-
ted.
"We still think it's a zero budget,"
Naftaly said. "We never said it was a
minus, but we still think it's going to be
a minus."

million in state aid this fall - a $19
million dollar increase over last year's
allocation. The state aid accounts for
approximately one-half of the Univer-
sity's general fund operating budget.
WHILE THE budget is somewhat
larger than the administration
originally proposed. "It's still a zero
budget," he said.
"I doubt you'll find any other state in

the nation that has such an
achievement," he said.
While there is general agreement on
the size of the 1985 spending plan, the
administration and the two legislative
fiscal agencies differ in their estimate
of current year spending.
THE BUDGET Department
estimates that general revenue spen-
ding will total $5.448 billion before the

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