Protesters gather outside closed B.C. Cobb power plant in Muskegon

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By the end of 2019, the closed B.C. Cobb power plant that towers over Muskegon Lake should be knocked down and completely removed.

On Wednesday, Dec. 6, around 50 members of the West Michigan Building Trades union group gathered outside the Cobb to protest against Forsite Development, the North Carolina development company who bought the B.C. Cobb power plant and is responsible for the plant's abatement, demolition and redevelopment.  

"We got men and women that built this plant, they've maintained it over the years, and ya know we think it's our duty here in Muskegon to tear it down," said Bill Kenney, W.M.B.T. President.

According to Kenney, the various unions the W.M.B.T. represents didn't have an opportunity to bid on two active contracts at the site.

One job relating to interior demolition work, and the other doing asbestos remediation.

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Kenney says New York based PAL Environmental Services is doing the asbestos work and Bay City.

Michigan based Bierlein is doing demolition work.

"In the county of Muskegon alone we have 1,000 members that work for the West Michigan Building Trades that could use this work," said Kenney.

The Cobb property extends more than 100 acres on the east end of Muskegon Lake.

Forsite Development hopes to convert the site into a deep-water marine terminal for shipping.

But first, most of the property will be cleared.

Kenney believes the work at the site had the potential to be good for Muskegon area workers and their families.

 "Look at the city of Muskegon, our median income is $27,000," he said. "There is a lot of opportunity to help out some families here on this project."

WZZM was unable to verify that PAL Environmental Services is working at the Cobb site.

A Bierlein sign is posted at the property.

Read more: Consumers Energy selects company to demolish B.C. Cobb plant

Members of the West Michigan Building Trades union group protesting use of non-local workers at closed B.C. Cobb property in Muskegon.. 

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