Pontiac City Council to stop plan to house Syrian refugees

PONTIAC, Mich. – The city of Pontiac is saying "no" to Syrian refugees.

This decision comes a day after Oakland County Executive L. Brooks Patterson asked the mayor and City Council to stop the support of housing Syrian refugees in buildings owned by Live In Pontiac LLC and Pontiac Community Investment LLC.

Patterson refers to the development as a Syrian refugee village.

The project was slated to be situated on a piece of land at Square Lake and Franklin roads. It has room for 120 homes. But now the City Council is expected to vote no on the project which, until the attacks in Paris, had been well-received.

"We're going to basically vote no," said Don Woodward, Pontiac City Councilman. "At this time it's just not appropriate, it's too much of a safety issue to allow the Syrian refugees into Pontiac."

Pontiac residents showed up at Thursday's city council meeting to overwhelmingly oppose the project.

"I don't know any Syrians personally and I'm not afraid, but the recent events in Paris have me concerned," said Renee Beckley.

Beckley and others addressed the city council who said the idea of settling refugees in the city was a surprise to them as well and they're not going for it.