This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Friday, May 27, 2016

More meeting notes

Earlier this week I posted on the presentation of Rose Acre Farms to the Jasper County Planning and Development Board and the Board of Zoning Appeals. Planning and Development had two other items on its agenda, an amendment to the Code of Jasper County on the Flood Plain District and an amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance regarding disposal of manure for confined feeding operations. A citizen from the northern part of the county had a lot to say about the first. He did not disagree with anything in the change, but was concerned that the existing ordinance was not being enforced. As a result of his plea, the item was tabled to the next meeting. The second item was an addition to the UDO. There was a perception that the County had rules on manure disposal, but a search for the rules came up empty. It passed and will go to the Commissioners for approval.

The BZA had a much more interesting second case. Compass Holdings LLC, based in Illinois, wants to build a travel center on the southwest corner of the SR 10/I-65 interchange. There are already two travel centers at the interchange, both on the east side. The representatives for Compass Holdings were requesting a special exception to build a travel center. Though there are rules for gas stations and restaurants, apparently there are no set rules when the gas stations and restaurants are combined. They explained in great detail what would be included and the site diagram shows much of it.

Trucks would enter on the far west, go around the back of the travel center, and fuel under the canopy east of the travel center. There would be truck parking east of the fueling station. The trucks would then leave via the easternmost exit. Cars would come and go via the middle entrance and fuel under the canopy north of the travel center. Truck and cars would not meet if everyone goes where they are supposed to go.

The travel center would include a lounge for the truckers and showers. It would also include three restaurants. One would be Dunkin Donuts, another a sit down restaurant, and a third a sandwich shop type restaurant.

They also wanted a variance on sign height and area. The UDO limits signs to 75 feet tall. They had done a balloon test, in which they had a tethered balloon at 75 feet and had noticed that it was barely visible and much less visible than the signs of Loves and TA on the east side. Investigating, the found that those signs were well over 100 feet tall. So they were requesting that they be allowed signs and signage similar to what was already at the intersection.

There were questions on traffic control and the effect of the lights on a campground north of SR 10. The variance was granted. The presenters noted that there was also a phase two part of the development that would include a motel.

On Wednesday night the Airport Authority Board had a special meeting to decide which of three options for a new T-hangar to accept. One option was to build a hangar with nine bays and the other two options were eight-bay hangars with two of the bays extra large. The Board had already identified the low bidder, Hamstra. They spent time comparing the pros and cons of each option. The project will be built with no federal funding, so is not subject to the various federal regulations. Also, because the repeal of the Common Construction Wage Act, wages do not need to be set to union levels and the consultant said that would save about $100,000. Eventually the five members of the Board agreed to go with the nine-bay building, which was the least expensive, costing a bit under $600,000. The building will be unheated and uninsulated. If someone renting a bay wants heat and insulation, he can have them installed at his expense.

The next step is to approve the plan at next week's meeting and send a proposal to the County Council to appropriate the money. The Airport Authority has the funds, but cannot spend them without Council approval.

Looking at the diagrams of the proposals, I finally understood why they are called T-hangars. (This is a picture of a rejected option, not what they will build.)

 The Ts tessellate.

The new hangar will be built to the north of the building in the middle, which is also a T-hangar, one built about a decade ago. The building on the right is one of two old hangar buildings that were built in the 1930 or 1940s and no longer meet FAA regulations.
The yellow poles in the picture above show where the new fuel farm will be. With luck it will be finished by the end of June.

No comments: