Letter to the editor: Leaders aren’t looking out for taxpayers


To the editor:

As a lifelong resident of Hancock County, I would like to address this letter to the Hancock County Council and commissioners to express my concerns.

It appears that you are overlooking the crucial duties of what the citizens elected you to do – improve and preserve the quality of life for the citizens of Hancock County. You apparently have adopted the philosophy of “If we build it they will come.” Let me remind you and the developers that this isn’t an Iowa farm field, nor are they wanting to build baseball diamonds. You are creating an industrial corridor along Mt. Comfort Road that is getting out of hand. The quality of life for the individual citizen is being sacrificed for the almighty tax revenue you project will be provided by the commercial enterprise system.

Originally, you selected a corridor area of County Roads 500W to 700W to be the designation. That now seems to have been expanded to include County Road 400W with developers requesting approval for building on County Road 300W. I can’t help but think that the citizens who live west of County Road 200W or perhaps even Meridian Road are being considered collateral damage, and “too bad so sad” for us.

Almost all of these “tip up” buildings are being built on speculation and are being given tax abatements and perhaps other concessions. Not only is that harming our school systems, our police and fire departments and the infrastructure, but our quality of life as well. Don’t get me wrong; I am not against progress, nor am I against industrial complexes. I just believe you need to reign in the number of buildings you are approving and the areas you are allowing the buildings. The proposed buildings also should have a minimum of 50% occupancy or more before being approved, and the tax abatements should be cut back. I am also concerned about the structural safety of those buildings based on the tornadoes that recently resulted with several lives lost in the Amazon and candle factory warehouses in the Midwest.

I urge all of you, the elected or appointed officials of Hancock County, to remember it is the citizens that make up the county – not the commercial enterprises. Quit sacrificing our quality of life for tax revenue that you hope to receive. Thank you.

Paul Harrington