Written By: Justin Parker
I feel I need to make one very important statement that a lot of appointed and elected officials and most everyday people may be overlooking. The promise of millions of dollars in economic development and growth by an industrial solar project is not what it is portrayed as being.
This money is not new money OR additional money. Prime farm ground will be taken out of production. This means all of the local businesses that support the farming industry will LOSE money which we know will have a downward spiraling affect on sales, income, jobs, etc.
When we talk about removing 2,000-4,000 acres of prime farm ground for each project then we are damaging Bunge, POET, Shelby County Co-op, Premier Ag, Fischer Seeds, Gray Seeds, Helena, Flat Rock Ag, Kuhn Tiling, Southern Indiana Irrigation, Nutrien, Kokomo Grain, Smooth Stone Excavation and Tiling, Farm Bureau, XPerience Ag, Shelby Farm Supply, Sullivan Feed Supply, State Farm and more. This results in people who reside and spend their money in Shelby County being laid off, losing wages and benefits and more. Is this how we should be treating our residents and businesses that call Shelby County home? These are the most important aspects that should be considered that I don’t hear mentioned.
In the end Shelby County will not have new or additional money coming in. The money will be replaced by robbing Shelby County businesses and residents to give out-of-state green energy investors a place to set up shop so they can collect their tax credits. I’m not so sure that all of the money will be replaced and it’s my opinion there will be less money than what we started with because there are so many bills being pushed through our state legislature right now that will keep county governments from collecting money from these projects. That’s it, that’s the bottom line, but no one wants you to know it.
The first solar project got rushed through. We better wisen up as a county and see what’s coming down the pipe before we damage ourselves beyond repair.