Listen Live
Lebanon City Council

Source: WISH-TV / other

LEBANON, Ind. — You may have heard about the multi-billion-dollar Eli Lilly plant coming to Lebanon. Some people in the city don’t believe that facility is in the best interest of the people.

The mayor is pushing back on the criticisms.

“How can you look at me with a straight face and say bringing in a 3.7-billion-dollar pharmaceutical manufacturing company, that’s going to pay tens of millions of dollars in taxes, is not good for our citizens,” said Republican Mayor Matt Gentry.

Mayor Gentry tells our news gathering partners at WISH-TV the Eli Lilly plant is a big step forward for the city’s expansion and economic growth.

The Boone County Preservation Group say the whole project was “heavy handed.” The group also claims the actual annexation process for the Eli Lilly land violated city rules.

Mayor Gentry says his office has tried to be as transparent as possible, “we’ve tried. You know, we put it all out there on our website, we livestream all of our meetings, post all of our meetings. I mean, as government goes, I don’t think there’s any other way possible we could be more transparent unless they’re here sitting next to me.”

Gentry tells WISH-TV the criticism is misplaced. The project is supposed to bring in around 1,500 temporary jobs, 700 permanent jobs, and he says the money from Lilly’s property taxes could be used to prepay property taxes for Hoosiers in Lebanon.

“If they think this isn’t in the best interest of the city, I don’t know what they think would be because it’s going to change, it’s going to develop. We’re seeing unprecedented housing development in Lebanon,” said Gentry.

Matt Gentry is running for a third term, currently unopposed.