Opinion: Changes will come to South County—are we preparing?

“I want things to stay just like they are.” “If you aren’t planning for your future, someone else is.” These 2 adages are heard a lot around South LaPorte County. The slower pace and conservative views have served our communities well in the past, but in today’s rapidly changing world, the second statement above must be heeded. Yes, change for South County will come, and we must prepare for and plan our future, or someone else will.

Our 6 small communities (LaCrosse, Wanatah, Prairie Township, Westville, Union Mills, and Hanna) comprise what we call South County. Historically we have been enemies, competitors, neighbors, and friends, but seldom partners, sharers, workers together, or even knowledgeable of each other. We are currently trying to change that by organizing the South LaPorte County Community Coalition (SCCC). Representatives of the 6 communities have been meeting monthly for about 15 months trying to find ways to bring our communities closer together so that each becomes stronger.

So what changes might happen, remembering that what happens in Wanatah (positive or negative) affects Union Mills, etc.?

*The Highway 30 Freeway initiative will have a huge effect on us all.

*Major railroad changes could happen.

*State and federal mandates could force consolidation of schools, libraries, fire departments, townships.

*We are losing our post offices, grocery stores, medical facilities, pharmacies, local establishments.

*Zoning and land use ordinances are constantly changing.

*Use of wells and septic systems could become stricter at any time.

*South Shore double-tracking and development near Kingsbury will affect us all.

*Large developments could happen—airport, huge industrial farms, warehousing.

*The decision on incorporating.

*Connection to the internet via broadband to rural areas.

*You name your own change that might affect your community, positively or negatively… .

What are we to do?  Sticking our heads in the sand won’t work. We need to plan for our own community, South County, the entire county, and beyond to our region. We invite you to join us at our next South County meeting, Tuesday, Sept. 26, at 5 p.m. in LaCrosse.  We have no dues and no membership;  let’s just meet and talk. We will be planning a South County summit in November to discuss these and other issues, and we’ll invite communities similar to us to come and hear what they are doing to prepare for the future.

Please contact me at any time.

Jim Jessup

PO Box 108

Hanna, IN 46340



4 Responses to “Opinion: Changes will come to South County—are we preparing?”

  1. Angie

    Sep 14. 2017

    What a great idea!!!! I live in South County and I didn’t even know these meetings were taking place.

    Reply to this comment
    • jim

      Jan 14. 2020

      You should move to LaPorte or Valpo too ! You are probably a transplant from the city anyway,so go back ! No body that crew up here “with a brain ” wants this !

      Reply to this comment
  2. Scott Ford

    Sep 15. 2017

    You are preforming a great community service by facilitating these type of discussions. Change is coming and its necessary for people to get involved and voice their opinions. Development isn’t the enemy, fear and misunderstandings are the problems and the issues. We must embrace change to conquer fears!

    Scott “Scotty” Ford

    Reply to this comment
  3. jim

    Jan 05. 2019

    Jim you don’t even live in town ! And half the sidewalks they put in didn’t need replaced ,but right next to your dad’s house those are horrible ? street lights would have been nice haven’t had those in 20 plus years .You need to move to the city!

    Reply to this comment

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