MACOMB COUNTY, MI-Two communities are appealing the designation of 75 acres of land as a new railroad freight yard.The Crown Enterprises property, about 75 acres split between Riverview and Trenton along the Detroit River, has become a matter of contention.

Recently, CenTra Inc. of Macomb County received approval from the U.S. Surface Transportation Board to build a rail yard for its Riverview Trenton Railroad Co.CenTra, which bought the former McLouth Steel Products Corp. land from Detroit Steel Co. earlier this year, wants to store large, 45,000-pound shipping containers along the property.

However, both cities want to buy the development, or at least force CenTra to sell. Both wish to rezone the area, now surrounded by heavy industrial uses, to mixed-use property. The communities have spent more than $300,000 to complete redevelopment studies for more than 200 acres along the river, which include the steel company land and the rail yard.

Trenton Mayor Gerald Brown told that an appeal was filed Thursday with the transportation board.”We’re not happy with the increased truck and rail traffic that will result from a rail yard,” Brown said. “We have to pay for our roads, and it’s known that trucks will cause a road to deteriorate. We’re also concerned the company will get dock access and start accepting garbage.”

He said Riverview and Wayne County are also on board with the appeal.Brown said he met with representatives from CenTra on Monday, but the meeting did not go well.

“The Riverview mayor and I walked out of the room during the discussion,” Brown said. “I don’t understand their attitude; they know we were going to appeal.”

He said that his city has high hopes for the appeal. Though the board requires three members, only two members sat on the board when the decision was given, and Brown said one of those two has already retired.”We should have two new people on the board that may retract the approval,” Brown said.

The mayor said that CenTra is trying to buy the entire 200-acre McClouth Steel property, which is currently split between four owners.The city wants to get control over the rail property to allow people access and create some public uses along the river.

CenTra officials could not be reached for comment.

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