Clean, Green Development and a Healthy Future
It is no secret that the city of Muncie and Delaware County are losing residents and tax base. We must stem that flow and then reverse the tide to build back up in order to remain a viable community economically and grow into a thriving one.
The question is at what cost are we willing to do this. It was disturbingly clear this past year as to the answer. Waelz Sustainable Products, what would have been the leading polluter of lead particulate in the entire country, was given tax incentives to come to Muncie by the city council. The county council did not protest, did not take action, did not seem to care much.
Thankfully, a massive demonstration of more than one thousand local residents initiated a path of consistent action and turned Waelz away. The entire community breathed a sigh of relief!
But, this should never have happened in the first place. I understand that carbon neutrality is difficult to achieve, but there is a large range of options between that and the Waelz plant. One can argue whether local governments should incentivize new businesses to come to our community, but if we are going to use taxpayer dollars to do so, we should absolutely ensure they are going to economic development centered on a healthy and sustainable future. Healthy not only in the economic sense, but also in the environmental health of the area and quality of place for our residents.
Imagine Muncie as a hub for renewable energy, tech businesses, green factories, and other sustainable endeavors. It isn’t so outlandish. We just need to be creative and focused in figuring out ways to use our leverage to focus on this type of development to further a healthy and sustainable community for our current and future residents.