Morristown residents express concerns over proposed plant at town meeting

Concerned about water supply, property values

MORRISTOWN, Ind. - Morristown residents had a chance to ask questions about a proposed $500 million plan to build a power plant on their land Wednesday evening.

Nebraska-based Tenaska wants to build the plant on 98 acres of quiet land in the small town of only 1,200 people. The company wants to build the natural gas-fueled power plant to make electricity.

"It's gonna be cutting edge, it's gonna be the latest, it's gonna be the most efficient, and natural gas fired. Fuel plants are the cleanest power plants you can have," Helen Manroe of Tenaska said.

Residents packed the town council’s meeting room to have their questions answered.

Neighbors were concerned about how the plant would affect the local water supply.

One resident said he found a Tenaska contract in Texas that gives the company water rights, even during a drought.

Manroe dismissed the concern as a unique case that did not adversely affect the local community.

"I wanted to hear more direct answers (such as) yes this is what it's going to be like, this could be in your contract and of course hearing the board saying they would not allow it, that's a step in the right direction," concerned citizen Josh Bassett said.

Manroe said Tenaska will find a water source that is sustainable for everyone.

Residents also asked if the plant would lower resident’s property values.

"We've developed 16 power plants across the United States and we've never had people come back to us and say your plant hurt our property values," Manroe said.

Sara Goedde lives within a quarter mile of the proposed site. 

"How are we going to be compensated? We have to live right beside their plant, no buffer zone and it will affect our property values, what do they plan to do about it?" Goedde said.

Manroe said the current industrial park itself provides the buffer for residents. She said Tenaska is also considering a couple of other sites for the project, but Morristown’s abundance of natural gas, rail lines and power grids makes it a top contender.

Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1

Print this article Back to Top