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Indiana Forest Alliance concerned construction is adding to flooding of Marion County forest

The Indiana Forest Alliance will fight the approval of that massive development on Nov. 3 in front of the Metropolitan Development Commission of Marion County.

MARION COUNTY, INDIANA, Ind. — A new trend has some people in a southeast Marion County community concerned.

"They're taking a quiet, residential and agricultural area and overnight, turning it into a massive industrial park," said Jeff Stant, the executive director with the Indiana Forest Alliance.

Stant said a new warehouse is to blame for construction and increased flooding along the Buck Creek Greenway.

"The flows in the creek have never been higher than they are today and in the last two years, flooding has happened that's worse than anything that residents have ever seen," said Stant. "It coincides with the building of this Five Below warehouse which Shelby County just approved over the border and started operating this year."

He said that is just the beginning.

"There's a proposal now to put a warehouse and industrial shipping warehouse as much as 26 acres in size, that's 26 football fields 50 feet high, going across this farmland," Stant said.

The current warehouse sits across the street from Marion County on South County Line Road in Shelby County. The Forest Alliance and some residents have said the construction of that warehouse has increased flooding in the Buck Creek Woods. They're worried a new warehouse on the Marion County side of the street would be disastrous.

"This isn't about a 50-foot strip of land," said Stant. "This is about a serious flooding problem and not letting it become worse."

The Indiana Forest Alliance will fight the approval of that massive development on Nov. 3 in front of the Metropolitan Development Commission of Marion County.

"We have something special with the Buck Creek Greenway," said Stant. "We don't want the flooding to hurt it. Until you can guarantee that won't happen and we can agree upon setting up a flood control plan that will assure that, no, we don't want this change."

We reached out to District 25 City-County Councilor Brian Mowery, who oversees Franklin Township where the new warehouse would be constructed. In a statement, he said:

"After many lengthy conversations with people that are very familiar with the area, I don’t believe the flooding is from Five Below. Historically, Buck Creek and that area have always flooded. In fact, some of the people complaining knowingly built or bought their homes in the flood plain. I am working with developers to see what can be done to help them. If this warehouse goes in, remedies will have to be sought to help the residents. The DNR has already awarded a $35,000 grant to help eliminate the log jams and I believe the City could be helpful. However, there are several factors that need resolved before I take a positive or negative opinion on the development.

Further, if Five Below is the problem, I am curious if the residents have notified Five Below that they’re causing flooding drainage issues? By law, if Five Below is causing the problem, they have to fix it."

The public hearing for the approval of the warehouse construction will be held at 1 p.m. on Nov. 2 in the City-County building.

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