GIBSON Co., Ind. (WFIE) - Gibson County Commissioners unanimously approved a zoning ordinance Tuesday night. The topic has long drawn support and opposition from many residents for months.
County Commission President Gerald Bledsoe says his decision came down to public safety and the impact future development could have on the doppler radar.
“The rest of the counties don’t have the doppler and by us having the doppler, we have to protect it,” Bledsoe explained. “I do not want it on my conscious that somebody died because I did not fight hard enough.”
Bledsoe added this was far from an easy decision. Ultimately, each commissioner would side in favor of zoning.
More than a dozen people signed up to speak ahead of that vote which included a mix of both support and opposition to zoning. Each person was given three minutes to share how they felt.
Lifelong Gibson County resident Rita Stone gave concerns over the possibility of wind turbines impacting doppler radar by recalling February 2017 when she and her family were in the direct path of a tornado.
“During the newscast, we were watching Jeff Lyons on Channel 14,” Stone shared. “He issued a tornado watch. He predicted the path would be close to our location and told us to seek shelter immediately, even predicting the time of arrival within one minute of when it actually arrived at our home. We were safe in our basement. The Doppler radar saved our lives that night.”
The ordinance was sent to commissioners after gaining support from Area Plan Commission.