Culver resident Katie Lewellen spoke during the public comment portion of the Marshall County Commissioner’s meeting on Monday. 

Lewellen told the commissioners she was asked to read a statement from Paul Levett who was unable to attend the meeting. 

 The letter said he was reaching out to update the commissioners on what’s happening with industrial solar in Marshall County.  Levett went on to say, “Weak industrial solar ordinances are ready to go into place in April and the assault on our zoned agriculture land by 7 different industrial solar companies or more, shouts how weak our ordinances are.” 

Concerned Property Owners of Marshall County have tried to educate the county government for almost a year.  Their hired attorney has made some presentations and alleged that officials have not followed proper procedures in creating the ordinance amendments.

The letter discussed the 2500 acres surrounding Burr Oak and a project at the intersection of Pine and 18B that could have 1289 acres of solar by Wahoo Solar LLC.  In the southwest corner of Union Township RES North America Leasing have 520 acres for solar and south on Queen Road and south of 18B road, farmers have been approached by Greenex Solar. 

The letter from Concerned Property Owners of Marshall County listed counties that have stopped or paused industrial solar projects.  Kosciusko, Clark and Dekalb Counties have stopped solar, and Fulton County is working on their stop. Pulaski County has lawsuits to stop the installation of solar filed in Winamac and Whitey Council has 1,500-feet setbacks while Bartholomew County has 500-foot setbacks from property lines.  The letter alleges that Starke County property owners are seeing their property values decline.

Levett says Leeward Renewable Energy Development LLC, Swift Energy Storage LLC and Oriole Entity Storage are other companies pursuing leases in Marshall County. 

Concerned Property Owners of Marshall County told the commissioners in the letter that they are opening a pandora’s box if they allow the weak ordinance to go into place.  The letter states, “Marshall County is the diamond of counties in our state, don’t flaw our county, be hold and step back and join the counties in Indiana mentioned above with stronger ordinances that will stop the assault on our farmland and get it right for Marshall County.”