Residents raise concerns over approved New Carlise Economic Development Area

NOW: Residents raise concerns over approved New Carlise Economic Development Area

ST. JOSEPH COUNTY, Ind. - The St. Joseph County Council passed an 8-1 resolution to move forward with New Carlise's economic expansion on Tuesday night, growing by 1,500 acres, but community members aren't on board. 

The redevelopment commission has contracted $8.8 million to cover study, design, and early procurement costs.

Monthly deadlines must be met, as laid out in the development agreement: 

  • June 2024: Initial sewer lines and water lines have to be completed
  • October 2024: Filmore road improvements completed
  • December 2024 Sewer improvements completed and Intermediate water lines completed
  • October 2026: Full water lines to the GM site completed

Strict deadlines were placed out of concern that if the timeline isn't adhered to, construction on the GM plant would be delayed, leaving the county vulnerable to a lawsuit from GM. 

The council attests that the GM plant and the other major company moving in next door, whose name is being kept under wraps, will bring an economic boom the community, but locals aren't convinced. 

New Carlise resident Jack Daly, wants the council, a "public servant," he says, to serve the public and not private institutions.

"My main concern is ecological," he said. "It's the water [and] all of this stuff that's going on to the IEC. The allocation areas is up close and personal to our really large reservoir, which is a natural resource that we don't seem to value as highly as we should. The world is arguing about water. We're sitting on top of it and we're putting junkyards on it."

Five key areas are preventing New Carlise residents from agreeing with the plan. 

  • They think the pace of the project is going way to fast.
  • They want to delay the vote just so that council can make a new Comprehensive plan.
  • They are afraid that their land, and/or homes, will get bought up.
  • The think the redevelopment commission is overreaching their power.
  • They are concerned about waste that the GM plant will bring to the environment and the water.

Despite growing concerns, the council stands firm in their decision. 

"I believe this is the right decision," said District H Councilman Bryan Tanner. "It also puts us on a direction for the future that ultimately will better the community at large."

Share this article: