Vote for thoughtful growth

 To the editor:
As a current member of the Vermillion City Council, I feel that I must respond to your editorial titled "It's time for the city to talk about Hyperion" that was published in the Plain Talk on May 28. I can assure you that the present City Council has not been ignoring the possible growth to the area if the Hyperion Plant is built in Union County or if another large business locates in this area.

Over the last two years, several Monday noon Vermillion City Council study sessions, which are open to the public, have been devoted to assessing Vermillion's readiness to meet the opportunities and challenges that accompany significant growth. In addition, the Vermillion Planning Commission is working on the City of Vermillion's comprehensive growth plan as well as a future land use plan. We have also been discussing the joint jurisdiction area around the city with Clay County. All of this has been taking place so the city will know where the most effective growth path is as well as how to service that growth.

If we discuss these growth preparations at a Monday evening City Council meeting, there are citizens in the community who tend to respond by expressing their feelings about Hyperion and fossil fuels in general. While we are aware of these sentiments, we need to continue to make preparations for potential future changes and growth in the region, whether it comes from Hyperion or another business.

This spring, one of the individuals who obtained signatures for an alderman candidate was actually telling potential signers that they should sign the petition and vote for this particular candidate if they want to stop Hyperion from coming to the area. When you vote on June 8, I hope that you will vote for planned, thoughtful growth in the city of Vermillion rather than for candidates who claim that they can stop a Union County project over which the City Council has no control.
Howard Willson
Member, Vermillion City Council
Northwest Ward

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