The St. Joseph County Council approved a re-zoning ordinance Tuesday night that allows a car shredder to be built in New Carlisle.
The vote ends a long journey for Randy Schlipp of Randy’s Recycling.
More than a year ago he tried to get a shredder built in Benton Township, but residents were strongly opposed. In late 2010 South Bend gave him the go-ahead to build a shredder in Rum Village – but residents spoke out against that project and Schlipp decided on the New Carlisle location, which is roughly a half mile away from any homes and was already zoned for manufacturing.
Before the vote Tuesday night, New Carlisle residents gave his project a familiar reception.
"You have a roomful of people that are concerned about this,” said one woman during the public hearing.
"It's not just us, it's not just the elderly -- it's our children, you have to think about this, it's our children,” said another woman, who appeared to be tearing up as she spoke.
New Carlisle residents spoke out against potential ground and air pollution; they worried about increased truck traffic; they even asked the council to table the re-zoning ordinance.
"We don't want you in New Carlisle,” said a woman.
One man in the audience, though, disagreed.
"I've been out of work for two years and seven months, and I'm hoping that you guys will pass this so I might have a job,” he said.
By a vote of 7-2 the council passed the re-zoning ordinance. Schlipp wouldn’t comment after the vote but confirmed construction would start in spring and the shredder could be up and running within six months.
Meantime, residents of New Carlisle still have their doubts.
"It's very irritating,” said Troy Picton. “I'm very frustrated by our judicial system, they totally let me down, I had faith in them and they totally let me down,” he said.