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Public Comment Period Open For Proposed Industrial Park In New Carlisle, Community Voices Opposition

Annacaroline Caruso / WVPE News

Community members and advocacy groups are taking their protest of a proposed industrial park in New Carlilse to the official public comment sessions. The Open Space and Agricultural Alliance were at the redevelopment commission meeting Tuesday morning.

St. Joseph County released the plan for the 7,200 acre Indiana Enterprise Center recently which started the public comment period.

Protestors and the Town of New Carlisle have asked the County to adhere to the 2002 plan for the IEC because it makes protecting farmland a priority and puts a limit on the size of the park.

Gene Vanlue owns a farm about a half mile from the proposed site. His grandchildren are the fourth generation to live on the farm.

“The public has not been totally involved in this. Nobody wants to live in an industrial park.”

Vanlue and other members for OSAA said the public comment opportunities aren’t accessible enough.

Bill Schalliol is the Executive Director of Economic Development for St. Joe County and has been the face of the IEC plan. He said this project would help the economy of New Carlisle and the surrounding areas.

“The main goal of this project is to create that last piece of development opportunity that doesn’t presently exist within St. Joseph County. ”

Schalliol said they have received 15 written submissions for public comment so far.

The public comment period is over on April 10th.

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