I am one of those people that have the strange distinction of having a North Judson phone number and a Knox address.
I attended the Public hearing on the 15th of November. I was actually leaning in favor of an ethanol plant,
but came out of the meeting against something different completely - Our county government!
Now I donít claim to know the laws 100 percent, but this meeting was a big eye opener for myself and quite a few others.
I was always under the impression that the government listened to the people,
but that was not the case on that cold November evening.
I live farther than 5 miles away and I donít know what effect this will have on me personally,
but I do know that there are a lot of people in that 5 mile radius it will affect. There were a lot of justified concerns which went unanswered,
answered in generalities when specifics were wanted or just completely ignored altogether. The whole point was that the people wanted answers,
comfort if you will, but received nothing. I donít want to use the word corruption, but it was plain to see the bias in most board members..
The only person who acted concerned was Mrs. Bartolli. I donít know her personally, but she was the only person who actually asked some tough
questions of the corporation that was trying to get the permit, and even she was ultimately shut down by Chairman Naigai, just as he shut down
the comments of numerous people concerned with this plant. Mr. Nagai had no problems with those few for the ethanol plant, who rambled on about
how poor our county is and how this plant will some how lessen our teenage pregnancy rate. I will admit our county needs more opportunity, but
those who spoke up for this plant were not the poor folk of this county, It was the already well to do and this plant would directly enhance
their pocket books much more than the poor in Starke county. While I am proud to have the amount of farmers we have in this area, open your
eyes people, the farmers are doing quite well. From the information received that night, this will just be another case of the rich getting richer. The money from taxes, by there own figures will not amount to very much per person,
especially since they donít pay any property taxes for at least the first 2 years. The payroll tax is even a worse case scenario,
especially after the best they could state was that they would ďtryĒ to hire from Starke County. All the while no matter what was said,
the BZA just sat there with their minds made up. Even with little to no research on their parts, this was a ďDone DealĒ.
It sounds like I am against this plant now, well it would have been different if our county officials wouldíve at least acted
like they cared about the many concerned citizens at that meeting, but they didnít and I am sure many people felt that way.
I have heard the people who were there that night have formed a group and will be filing a petition to have the BZA revisit this matter.
They are 100 percent right in this matter. Whether you are for, against, undecided or just donít care about this plant,
you should be concerned about this government we have at this time. Many of us can look out our windows in this county and
see a vacant lot or empty field. Should our government be able to put anything they want next to any of us with out at least
doing some research as to how it will affect us? How about listening, even half heartedly to what the people are concerned about?
It is time to change some laws and some people in our government. Where were the commissioners that night? At least we elected them,
shouldnít they have had an interest in what the people said that night? Just remember!
Hello. My name is Michael L.
I live in San Pierre.
I'd like to start with the premise that many of my neighbors in this room and I,
made the decision to live in this part of Stark county because of the seclusion,
beauty and quite atmosphere that we enjoy today. We were told that this is an agricultural region,
that is zoned and dedicated just for that reason. In effect we have a covenant with the government of
Stark County, that should we faithfully pay our taxes and obey the laws, we would be able to enjoy the
environment the county has guaranteed us through it's zoning and usage laws, to be what it is today:
A Midwestern Rural Community.
Many of us made lifelong decisions, and invested lifelong earnings to live here.
This decision was predicated on the promise that our County government would allow us to exist in a
rural neighborhood. We voted and put our faith in our local officials - you the planning commission -
to make informed decisions for the betterment of our community.
This decision you are about to make clearly is a difficult one, with so many questions that need to be answered.
How will this effect the local aquifer?
How will this effect the local Watershed?
Has a GEO Physical Survey been completed to evaluate this area?
What type of Spill prevention plan has been Proposed, and will it work?
Has IDEM's regulations been met and how will they monitor the cause and effect?
What does the DNR have to say about this?
These questions need a long and involved study to be answered properly.
It's called a Modeling Analysis. Has this been presented to the board for
evaluation, and what are it's findings?
I was asked to speak with regards to Soils and Economics to the Community.
As you can see I found more questions than answers regarding the soils.
The economics to the community is equally as complicated, but this is what I do know.
If this plant will have payroll budget of 1.2 million per year,
Stark county will receive $12,720.00 in payroll tax revenue,
but that's only if all the employees live in Stark County.
If this plant costs $62 million (based on my local property taxes)
it will pay approximately $320,000.00 annually in property taxes but
this is yet to be distributed through the county, schools, state, airport,
and township, of which would only receive approximately $19,208.65. This is
hardly enough money to repair the damage to our roads that the increased traffic will do.
It's extremely difficult to prove just how much our community will loose in
property values, but we all know it will be great. How much will our property
taxes go down because of this? Nothing!!
It seems to me that this entire proposal will only benefit a few,
while costing the majority of us much more. But maybe it just because we have more to loose.
It is my hope, that the members of this board will recognize,
the degree to which this proposed change of usage would damage the hopes,
dreams and financial stability of my neighbors and myself. Respectfully,
we're asking you to carefully look at all the questions that need to be
answered, before an informed decision can be made. Remember the promise of
government...of the people and for the people, not just the few, because
I think we all know what happens, when folks break their promise.