April 26, 2016 Letter to the Editor
At the April 11 Homer Township board meeting, Supervisor Meyers announced that the Township’s Open Space and Operations committee approved the concept to develop a solar power generation facility at the Paul Farm. If the Town Board eventually approves this measure, the Township would trade access to our open space land in return for financial benefit. In my view, this plan is not a proper use of public land and the trustees should discard this idea immediately.
In 1999, township residents approved two referenda which gave Homer Township permission to buy $8 million worth of land and the 56 – acre Paul Farm was purchased in 2000 for $1.7 million. Supporters of the referenda, which included Supervisor Meyers and current Open Space Committee member Margaret Sabo, positioned this referenda as a way for Homer residents to have more parks and open space. Today, there are over 200 acres of land in Homer Township’s portfolio and very little of it is used for parks and open space.
Supervisor Meyers has been sitting on the open lands committee for over 15 years. Over the last 7 years, she has had ample opportunity to bring forward long term plans for our open space portfolio which will benefit all of the citizens of Homer Township. Our open lands have been farmed on a “temporary basis” for far too long. Supervisor Meyers’ support of a solar power generating facility on our land makes it clear that she views our open lands as a means to generate revenue for the township. Our $8 million investment was for land that the public could use and enjoy, not to prop up agribusiness and green energy ventures.
Supervisor Meyers does not have a mandate to support using our open space as a platform to subsidize private business ventures and I urge the Homer Township Trustees to reject building a solar power generation facility at the Paul Farm at the next Town Board meeting on May 9.
Homer Glen, IL