• Bill Raines

Concerns Over Farmland and Amish Community Expressed During Town Hall Meeting in Mitchell

MTICHELL - (April 22, 2022) - A town hall meeting was held at the historic Emerson Gym in Mitchell, Indiana on Thursday night to oppose the Mid-State Corridor.


Former Mitchell resident Julie Lowe, Executive Chairman of Sierra Club Hoosier Chapter helped organize the Town Hall Event.


" We wanted to give Lawrence County residents the opportunity to join our efforts with the Orange County and DuBois County Coalition. We plan to have meeting in Loogootee at a future date. I care about the community I grew up around in both Lawrence and Orange County," said Lowe.



Those attended the meeting called the Mid-State Corridor that will take the highway over new terrain that is unnecessary. The State of Indiana needs to focus on maintaining and repairing existing roadways, according to those who oppose the Mid-State Corridor.


There are approximately $78 Million in improvements planned for U.S. 231 besides the Mid-States Corridor Project.


" The road going north of Jasper is totally unnecessary, they are places that they can widen along U.S. 231. There is no traffic on U.S. 231 or Interstate 69 that this current highway handles quite well. The only time there are concerns is in the morning and evening when Crane traffic comes to and from work," said Dennis Cray who lives on Daviess County Road 350 North.


Tina Mccullough, Odon talks prior to the town hall meeting on Thursday


" I am directly opposed to this project, there is not a need for them to do this," said Tina Mccullough, Odon, whose home will be completely taken out by this project. " This may also take out my daughter's home, depending on how they determine the route,"


Most of the concerns expressed last night, were in regard to the loss of farmland and the affect it will have on the Amish community. Both Route O and P would take the highway through farmland and leave the Amish community traveling miles to reach their homes and business.



Although the preferred route is P there is still a chance that route O can still be revived if there is changes to the plans by the Indiana Department of Transportation.


Tom Williams and his granddaughter Kaylee spoke during the meeting last night, whose farm in rural Orange County could be impacted. Kaylee reading a poem by the late Paul Harvey " On the Eighth Day God Made Farmers." Kaylee emotional of how this could impact their family farm and business.


The Indiana Farm Bureau Association has supported the Mid-States Corridor project even though this has impacted farms.


Video of Town Hall - Language may be offensive to some!


The Tier One Environmental Impact Statement has been released, but many contend that not all the environmental impacts are listed in the document. This includes the impacts on churches, Amish cemeteries, cemeteries, and old Indian burial grounds.


ADVERTISEMENT


Purpose and Need of Mid-State Corridor


The purpose of the Mid-State project is to provide an improved transportation link between U.S. 231/State Road 66 intersection and (I-69) either directly or by State Road 37 which:

  • Improves business and personal regional connectivity in Dubois and Southern Indiana

  • Improve highway connections to existing major multi-modal locations from Southern Indiana

Basis for the Selection of Preferred Route

  • Among alternatives adequately addressing purpose and need of alternatives P,M,O

  1. Lowest impacts to environmental resources

  2. Lowest cost among the three alternatives

  • Comparably low level of impacts to several key resources

  1. Smallest impacts to wetlands

  2. No impacts to several karst features

Next Step

  • Project Team will consider all comments

  • Refinements may be made to the preferred route

  • Preparation of Tier I Final Environmental Impact Statement ( FEIS)

  • FES will include response to comments

  • Tier 2 studies will follow

Still to be Determined

  • Right of way has not been determined with preferred alternative being a 2,000 -foot corridor

  • Alignments of 200 -500 ft won't be determined until Tier 2 Studies

  • Timetable for Tier 2 studies still to be determined/each to take about 2 to 3 years to complete

  • Timing for US 231 Improvements to be determined

  • For more information go to MIDSTATESCORRIDOR.COM

ADVERTISEMENT



Tier I Draft Environmental Impact Statement

  • The Draft Environmental Impact Statement ( DEIS) is a detailed document that summarized the Mid-States Corridor project's study process analysis and findings. The DEIS assesses the benefits, impacts, and costs of alternatives. It includes the basis for selection of the preferred alternative and key commitments associated with the project.


The DEIS Comment Period is April 15 - May 31


Public hearings:


Tuesday, April 26, 2022

Westgate Academy ( Crane) 135898 East WestGate Drive, Odon, IN


Thursday, April 28, 2022

Jasper Arts Center

951 College Avenue

Jasper, IN


The comment deadline for the Mid-States Corridor is May 31, 2022. The comments can be written to Mid-States Corridor Project Office Vincennes University Jasper Campus Administration Building Room 216 850 College Avenue Jasper, IN 47546 or email info@MidstatesCorridor.com


Send copies of comments to

Honorable Governor Eric Holcomb Statehouse Room 206 Indianapolis, IN 46204

www.in.gov.gov/ask-eric


Michael Smith Commissioner Indiana Department of Transportation

100 N Senate Avenue, Room 755 Indiana Government Center North Indianapolis, IN 46204

michael.smith@indot.in.gov


Jermaine Hannon Administrator Federal Highway Administration Indiana Division 575 North Pennsylvania Street, Indianapolis, IN 46204

Jermaine.Hannon@dot.gov


For breaking news, news and information subscribe to lczephyr.org of follow us on Facebook.


ADVERTISEMENT



238 views0 comments