Solar farm proposed south of Mendon

Several residents from Mendon and Nottawa townships Tuesday urged St. Joseph County commissioners to try to thwart development of a proposed solar farm.
The proposed project centers on a Minnesota-based company called Geronimo Energy Ltd. Opponents of the project said the company has quietly over the past few years been buying land in an area south of the village of Mendon. To date, it has acquired more than 550 acres primarily from land owner Lyle Schmidt, according to area farmer Arne Switalski.
If the project is not stopped, the solar farm will be fully developed in three years, Switalski said. Switalski said the agriculture landscape of St. Joseph County is in jeopardy because of the destruction of so much farmland.
He said if Geronimo is successful, its effort could change the fabric of the county.
The question county and township officials will have to explore is whether they have authority to stop the development of so-called solar farms.

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