Dear Editor,
I would like to thank the County Council for discussing the designation of Economic Revitalization Area (ERA) for the rural areas of Madison and Sugar Creek Townships (it excludes the towns). This title was unfairly assigned to this area with seemingly little or no thought to how that designation portrays the area or how it hurts the area. This area has great farmland. Montgomery County is a highly agricultural area.
The designation as ERA is defined by Indiana State Code (IC6-1.1-12.1-1) to mean an area which is within the corporate limits of a city, town, or county which has become undesirable for, or impossible of, normal development and occupancy because of lack of development, cessation of growth, deterioration of improvements or character of occupancy, age, obsolescence, substandard buildings, or other factors which have been impaired values or prevent a normal development of property or use of property.
As I consider in my small rural neighborhood, I drive past or close by to a mulit-national fertilizer business, a mercantile and feed shop, a specialty chicken business (whose chickens travel far and wide), an Etsy and sign shop, a genetics and research business, a picture perfect farm with llamas that are shown nationwide, horse riding lessons and pony show business, these are just a few businesses ‘just down the road’ from me that I am aware of. (I am certain there are others that I have missed.) The majority of these businesses are locally owned and operated, and most of these are agricultural. As an agricultural area, we should expect there to be many agricultural businesses to support farming and agriculture. I don’t think this looks like an area that is lacking growth or normal development. In fact, I would say it is doing quite well.
I do hope that each county councilman will vote to rescind the ERA for this thriving agricultural area with business abounding. Remember, as you drive through the countryside, that many businesses don’t have the big sign out front or store fronts. Instead, many of these businesses reach a much broader market than Montgomery County or even Indiana. Just because the countryside doesn’t have bright lights and big signs, doesn’t mean it isn’t thriving.
April Johnson,