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LETTER: If money is object then quality of life will take back seat

Dear Editor,

I am sure I am not speaking only for myself but many others who made the decision to move to Morgan County to escape the madness of the big city life. This county used to tout itself as being unique in many areas. I remember not too long ago there were moratoriums on home building because the area was growing too rapidly. There used to be a concern about zoning, water supply and disturbing the natural beauty that was surrounding us. But as of recently that seems to be out the window. Other folks, the JDA in particular, have come in and taken over the wishes and concerns of the people. They claim everything they do is “legal.” That may be, but a lot of it is unethical. Please look up the word. This Rivian project which has come up this year was hidden from our knowledge until it became a “done deal.” These folks are working behind our backs on things we know nothing about, all in the name of progress. On top of that, we never voted these folks into their position and our county commissioners, zoning department and tax officials seem to answer to them.

The chamber of commerce has claimed many facts as to why we should accept this deal. They say it will lower property taxes, mine just went up by 50%.  Others I know have had theirs doubled. In the recent election the people voted to give the forest industry a tax break as well as the farmers. It seems any new business coming here will be tax exempt. So where do you think the county is going to get their taxes? They say new industry will better the school system. Then why are so many businesses having to put out “help wanted” signs? They say Rivian will have high paying jobs. I have been in production most of my life, the object was never to see how much you could pay the employees, it was always the opposite of that. They had said at many meetings I attended that the construction would not affect the groundwater. They have already begun construction in an improperly zoned area. Talk to the neighbors whose wells are now pumping muddy water.

Morgan County is fast changing before our very eyes. If this plant comes in it will only bring others with it. I guess if money is the object then quality of life will have to take a back seat. I sure hope I don’t have to start looking for somewhere else to live at this point in my life.

Steve Shepard