Commission approves development of new road

·3 min read

Jun. 24—The first approval for a new road has been granted.

The Logansport Redevelopment Commission agreed Wednesday that an access road from The Junction, formerly the Logansport Mall, to Walmart could be built.

However, this was just the first step.

Bill Cuppy, executive director of the Logansport/Cass County Chamber of Commerce and Cass-Logansport Economic Development Organization, said he will be discussing the process with various entities, including Logansport Municipal Utilities, the Street Department, the Board of Works and the City Council.

The purpose of the new road would be to allow better traffic flow and to make access between the two business sites easier, he said, adding that the cost would be approximately $70,000.

A year ago, Security Federal Savings Bank provided an easement east of its drive-thru behind Mall Road. While some motorists already use this stretch, Cuppy said an improved roadway also would allow easier access for emergency vehicles.

Joe DiCosola of Park Development LLC, owner of The Junction, said in a letter that "vehicles are currently driving recklessly on the grass to get from Walmart to the bank and/or The Junction or vice-versa. Cars traversing this off-road path pose a liability."

He further states that utilizing law enforcement to monitor this area would take officers away from urgent duties. So, constructing a proper street would "not only help manage increased traffic flow ... it also provides another avenue for utility and/or emergency vehicles to service and access the area in the future."

"[T]his road with proper lighting, hydrants, etc. is a win-win for development and community at large," DiCosola stated in his letter to the board.

The Commission also agreed to acquire property owned by Mike Anderson that sits west of 421 Fourth St. The lot has been appraised at $40,000, but due to an existing mortgage situation, Bill Thompson of Mike Anderson said would be willing to sell for $55,000.

The lot, which would be the city's final acquisition before fully developing a downtown urban park, must be designated for park purposes for the city's ownership duration.

Arin Shaver, executive director of the Planning Department, said the city could not pay more than an appraisal amount on a piece of property. Therefore, she was asking the Commission for usage of Airport/Industrial Park Tax Increment Financing (TIF) District monies.

Board member Matt Lewellen said he would not feel comfortable if the fees were solely taken from the Industrial Park coffers, especially since the downtown urban park would benefit everyone, not just those in this specific tax district.

Mike McCord, board president, and members Suzanne Chilcott, Bob Dunderman, and Jon-Myckle Price agreed. Perry Rennewanz was not in attendance.

Therefore, the board will estimate contributions to the purchase by a pro rata share between the Industrial Park district as well as the following: The Junction, Sulai (hotel), downtown, and the Consolidated TIF District of East End and Gateway.

For now, the board agreed that the purchase of the lot will be funded, but they will figure out exactly how the payment will be divided among these districts prior to the next meeting. Then, on July 28, they will rehear the issue for a final vote.

Reach Kristi Hileman at kristi.hileman@pharostribune.com or 574-732-5150

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