Inform, Entertain, Inspire
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

Granger residents oppose building data center and other light industry on farmland

More than 200 Granger residents packed into a St. Pius Church community room Thursday evening to voice their opposition to rezoning farmland for a data center.

At their meeting Tuesday night, the St. Joseph County Council will vote on an unidentified company’s request to rezone about 900 acres at Bittersweet and Cleveland roads, from agricultural to light industrial, to build a data center on 160 acres where Bittersweet meets the Toll Road.

It would create about 300 jobs.

A group calling itself “No to Rezone” organized the meeting and listened to a presentation from Mike Danch, the company’s hired consultant. When Danch finished after about 20 minutes and county Economic Development Director Bill Schalliol went to end the meeting, the crowd grew angry.

Amy Sanders, who organized the meeting, said residents thought Danch would give answers to questions that the site’s neighbors were allowed to email the developer.

"What was addressed tonight was the same information that they've done to the council," Sanders said. "None of the questions that we had submitted were answered tonight. We asked specific questions based on what was given to the public."

Sanders said she worries about the uncertainty of what could be developed on the roughly 740 acres to be rezoned that fall outside the first phase of development.

County Council Member Dan Schaetzle, who represents that part of Granger, then took the microphone and answered what questions he said he could. Schaetzle refused to say how he’ll vote on Tuesday.

Parrott, a longtime public radio fan, comes to WVPE with about 25 years of journalism experience at newspapers in Indiana and Michigan, including 13 years at The South Bend Tribune. He and Kristi live in Granger and have two children currently attending Indiana University in Bloomington. In his free time he enjoys fixing up their home, following his favorite college and professional sports teams, and watching TV (yes that's an acceptable hobby).