Archived Story

Editorial: During tough times, some change is good

Published 11:15pm Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Wednesday, Sept. 29, 2010

In these economic times perhaps we should look past the end of our noses when it comes to rejecting a project because it doesn’t fit what we believe to be part of our neighborhood or our community.

A perfect example is the proposed car shredder that the South Bend Common Council approved Monday night on a 6-3 vote.

When Gertrude Street Metal Recycling owner Randy Schlipp brought the project to the council, the immediate reaction of the people living near the facility was a resounding no.

Nevermind that the business is located in an area zoned industrial.

Their concerns, all valid ones, included pollution, increased truck traffic and noise.

We have laws and we have departments to oversee such issues and for a change we ought to let them do their jobs.

If any of those concerns becomes a problem, the people living near the shredder can file complaints or sue the business and those departments because it is their right to do so.

But let’s look at this from another perspective.

Not only will the car shredder produce 19 more jobs when it’s up and running, according to Schlipp, but it could create up to 30 new jobs within two years.

New jobs are something Michiana desperately needs.

The project will also mean that a new city water line will need to be extended, providing better service to all in that immediate area.

The additional traffic, which according to Schlipp will be 80 trucks a day – 40 coming to the facility and 40 leaving — will make it necessary for the road that leads to the shredder to be repaved and widened.

Another plus for those who live in that area – better roads.

And last but not least, the council projects $90,000 annually in property tax revenue, which can also be used to help provide better serves to everyone.

We don’t expect our local governments to let just anyone throw up a factory or open a business without looking at all the possible scenarios of how it will affect our communities. Nor do we expect them to be blinded by dollar signs.

But if we let them do their jobs and they believe that there is no danger to our environment, our neighborhoods or our communities, perhaps we should start thinking a little more with our heads than with our hearts.

People by nature don’t like change, especially when it affects where they live and how they live their lives.

But some change is good.

And in these trying economic times, it maybe time for all of us to take a good hard look at what is in the best interests of everyone instead of what is in the best interest of ourselves.

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