A proposed gas station along US-41 in Marquette Township may have hit a snag Thursday. A letter from Governor Rick Snyder's office is asking the US Department of the Interior to deny the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community's request that land purchased by them be put into trust.
The land between 41 Lumber and Gander Mountain was purchased by the KBIC Tribe with the intent of putting in a gas station. The plan was to use the tribe's Michigan sales tax exemption to sell gas at a cheaper rate. Marquette Township officials were caught off guard by the letter.
"I guess we find it surprising, coming from a Marquette Township standpoint, because we haven't heard anything from the Governor's office, and so this is the first time we hear about it and certainly, as a township board, we haven't taken a stance one way or another," said Marquette Township Supervisor, Dennis Liimatta.
The letter states, "Taking this land into trust so that the KBIC may unlawfully compete with tax-paying businesses would use the land into trust process as a sword rather than a shield and alter the cordial and cooperative relationship the state now shares with the tribes within its borders."
There's no word from the KBIC. They have not returned our calls.