South Bend Council talks about ethanol plant and moped regulatio - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

South Bend Council talks about ethanol plant and moped regulations

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The South Bend Common Council had a lot to talk about in their meeting tonight.

One item on the agenda was Moped Regulations. Councilman Tim Scott says about 120 mopeds have been stolen in the city over the last two years.

That's why the Common Council has come up with a bill to put more regulations on moped ownership.

The main goal of the bill is to register all mopeds by using visible stickers similar to a license plate, just in case yours is stolen.

"And some that use them, that's their only means of transporation, so if a moped's stolen or comes up missing there's no way to track it or anything so what we're devising is a registration," said 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Another big topic at tonight's council meeting was the shuttered New Energy Ethanol plant.

After the plant shut down in November, area homeowners suffered flooding in their basements because the plant was no longer pumping water.

There's now a new owner, Noble Americas South Bend Ethanol.

They've drawn up a memorandum with the city to pump that groundwater.

Under the new ownership, the city will pay about 3,000 dollars less to operate the pump, however, the attorney for about 40 homeowners in the area says she wants a more permanent solution.

"If the plant you know... we wish them well we hope it's a successful business... but if it isn't and they are unable to operate, that there's a mechanism to quickly resume the pumping so that we don't have that lull that we had this last November that caused all the damage," said attorney Judy Fox.

Council members also hope to find a solution to the issue that doesn't rely on the success or failure of the ethanol plant. Initially the cost of drilling the wells would be about a half a million dollars. To operate the pumps would be about 62 thousand dollars per year.

One change the council was happy to hear about is that the new plant will operate with natural gas instead of coal.

Councilman Oliver Davis also shared his concern about the recent violence in the South Bend community.

"So we through police and through all of our neighborhood groups have to make sure that we can do the best we can and work along with other groups that have been out there," Said Davis.

Davis believes the city needs to work with community groups to encourage dialogue in the community before disagreements turn to violence.

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