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Local News

Manhattan Township says no to NorthPoint industrial park

A sign opposing Compass Business Park development sits in the window of a truck Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, during a protest parade in Jackson Township, Ill. Nearly two dozen trucks, tractors and farm implements, including a manure spreader, circled in parameter of the proposed site for Compass Business Park in opposition.
A sign opposing Compass Business Park development sits in the window of a truck Thursday, Jan. 11, 2018, during a protest parade in Jackson Township, Ill. Nearly two dozen trucks, tractors and farm implements, including a manure spreader, circled in parameter of the proposed site for Compass Business Park in opposition.

Manhattan Township government now is the latest public body to voice its opposition to the proposed 2,200-acre Compass Business Park.

The township board adopted a resolution, 5-0, stating that the members believe the project “to be detrimental to Manhattan Township and surrounding areas.”

“We feel like it’s going to be just a burden on our roads,” Township Supervisor James Walsh said.

While the project will be mainly in Jackson Township, Walsh said, he and his fellow board members are worried about the potential increase in truck traffic in the area, as well as commuter traffic. The resolution cited the potential impact on the infrastructure, saying it could result in repair costs falling on the taxpayers of the township.

The resolution also cites the board’s concern over increased air and noise pollution as well as a potential disruption of the wildlife and native vegetation in the Midewin National Tallgrass Prairie.

Walsh added that members of the board will be presenting the resolution to the Elwood Village Board at its regular meeting Wednesday night.

In the past several months, Jackson Township and the Elwood Community Consolidated School District 203 Board of Education have come out against the project. The Illinois Sierra Club and Openlands, a Chicago-area nonprofit focused on conservation, also have voiced their concerns at multiple public meetings.

At three meetings of the Village of Elwood’s Planning and Zoning Commission in December and January, hundreds of Elwood, Manhattan and Jackson Township residents came out to speak in opposition of the project. The commission still recommended the zoning of 851 acres of land for a special use permit for a planned unit development after hours of public testimony.

The full village Board of Elwood will take up the decision on whether or not to move forward with its part of the project, although no timeline has been set for a decision.

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