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Salted peanuts

After last week’s story in Metro Times about Detroit Salt Co. and its operation beneath southwest Detroit, News Hits got word that the city, which is supposed to be getting 52 cents a ton for the salt mined beneath public land, has so far only been getting peanuts. The catch is that it will be about a decade before any of the public’s salt gets mined, according to Sylvia Crawford, City Planning and Development Department spokeswoman.

The company also purchased mineral rights from private citizens, according to Detroit Salt office manager Kimberly Roberts. In all, the company has gained rights to about 1,500 acres of public and private property.

Those who did not sell their mineral rights fear that mining explosions may be damaging their homes, though they have no proof. Some complain that their foundations, driveways and plaster are cracked. About 160 residents gathered and grumbled about Detroit Salt at a neighborhood meeting at Church of God on South Fort last month.

News Hits is scratching its head over this. How can the company realistically mine beneath one piece of property without going under the home of another resident who did not sell their mineral rights? In that case, Roberts says that they would opt not to mine under the home. If they cannot reach it, they will not mine there, she says. That may provide some comfort to residents.

As for the city’s coffers, News Hits also learned that the Detroit Salt has paid the city the required minimal fees: $275 annually, says Crawford.

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