Dear Editor,
Just before the past election I knocked on many rural doors in 10 townships and a few doors in the remaining townships in Montgomery County. Most townships were in the southern part of the country. My reason, to talk person to person about the coming election. Many times or most of the time the subject of zoning came up. Everyone, yes everyone, in the ten townships I talked with was against zoning with the exception of one person who had just moved here and was for zoning and five undecided. I am against zoning but it’s about the majority that count or should be. In talking with county residents it’s no wonder I am firm about zoning.
Zoning is not spoken now. New term, limited land use restrictions, also Commissioner John Frey is trying to sell the Comprehensive Plan. It’s my opinion both will need zoning. Regardless of how many are against zoning or the Comprehensive Plan, our commissioners are determined to have their way. The plan has been set to be approved. When the plan returns it will go to the planning committee to be voted on, if yes, then sent to county commissioner to be voted on where a yes vote will determine the future of Montgomery County. If the commissioners are in favor of the plan they had better hope their crystal ball for the future and the consulting firm’s crystal bar is very clear. Commissioners have really big ideas for our county. One of the big ideas is a thoroughfare north of Crawfordsville. It is to be located at County Road 650 N. They have already applied for a grant but have been turned down. Either very sure of themselves or wanting to hurry. They also recently asked our County Council for one hundred thousand dollars, a blanket amount, not explaining in detail. The council turned them down. Thank goodness we have trustworthy, sensible men on the County Council.
Being turned down may have been good news for the commissioners. In my opinion and others, County Road 650 N is the worst road in the county for a thoroughfare. I am just guessing the consulting firm choose it because of location only. For many, many years, ago, 650 N has been as the slough road or swamp road. Also many years ago, a new owner of the land in that area decided to burn off the grass on what is now the south side of the road. Owning the farm, but not living there, lit a match and set the grass on fire and left. When he returned the grass had burned off but the land was still burning. I was told that the land burned for a long, long time. Long enough to lower the ground level. Why did the land or ground burn, its peat ground (coal). I worked on the farm as a kid. When I drove onto the field the tractor wheels would sink a few inches in the ashes. Peat soil had better not be under County road 650 N or it might be hard to find a solid base for a thoroughfare. No matter, a good engineer can build a road about any place given enough money to operate. This would be only the beginning of cost. If the thoroughfare is to go straight to US 231 there would be land to purchase. Big plans-big changes.
Our commissioners think big and want to spend big. You can do that when you are spending someone else’s money. They probably would answer, its grant money. It wasn’t grant money when they obligated the county for twenty years, a hundred thousand dollars a year, to Crawfordsville, to help build the building for Ivy Tech to rent. Our County Council will have to deal with that in the budget for many years to come.
Back to County Road 650 N. It is very seldom traveled. I doubt is there is one car a month. I have no idea whether County Road 650 N has peat soil under it. However, I have lived straight south of County Road 650 N, the slough road, for seventy one years.
Do the commissioners know your feelings? They probably will not read this letter. Have you written a letter to the commissioners, or attended a commissioners meeting? In my opinion, if the commissioners vote to in favor of the Comprehensive Plan they will defy many voters, our County Council, and the democracy of Montgomery County, to get what they (commissioners) want.
Thank You,
Bill Reed,
Crawfordsville