Neighbors question 900-acre St. Joseph County development, receive little answers at public meeting

NOW: Neighbors question 900-acre St. Joseph County development, receive little answers at public meeting

GRANGER, Ind. - Neighbors are questioning a St. Joseph County development and got little to no answers Thursday night.

A still unnamed buyer is looking to build a business tech center on a 900-acre property widely known as St. Joe Farms.

After the county council tabled any action to rezone the property to industrial, the community had a chance to get more information Thursday.

Hundreds came out to St. Pius Church in Granger trying to have their questions answered.

Many who showed up said it really wasn't helpful because there wasn't much new information.

One of those concerned citizens is Emily Trausch, who lives next to the site, with a daughter on the way.

She's concerned about the amount of power and water the proposed data center would use.

 “The environmental impacts it has, the traffic, we could go on and on, there's an endless list of concerns we have," said Trausch.

Trausch is one of the hundreds who have signed a petition to oppose the rezoning. Another resident, Candace Edwards, is also worried about its potential strain on local resources. 

“If the electric grid goes down, the people will be the ones in the brown outs, not the data center. They will have the money to pay more for their electricity and they will get it first," said Edwards.

One question the crowd did hear answers to is the potential contamination risks to Juday Creek.

Michael Danch with Danch Harner Associates, the firm representing St. Joe Farms, says they are putting a 200-foot vegetative buffer to protect the creek.

“The best way to do that is somehow eliminate the ability to get any kind of nitrates fertilizer into the creek, so the buffer will help with that," said Danch.

Danch adds that there is a county requirement developers must abide by when it comes to noise and light pollution, and that the tech campus will comply with this.

But Trausch is committed to fighting this tooth and nail.

“We'll do anything to stop that and to make sure my daughter lives in a good thriving happy peaceful community," said Trausch.

And still the county would not name the buyer or give specifics on what this tech campus would look like.

The county council plans to take a final vote for the rezoning on Tuesday, May 14.

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