Truck traffic concerns Milan citizens

Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer

The proposed use of County Road 200 N in Milan as a truck route for Pike Lumber continues to be an issue as Mike Baker and Brad Street, who live on CR 200 N, presented their concerns as well as a petition with signatures of those who are in opposition to the truck route to the commissioners at the regular meeting on Monday, August 24.

Some of the concerns voiced by Street included two culverts along the proposed route. Commissioner President Robert Reiners explained that the structure of the culverts, and their ability to support the weight of the trucks, will be addressed as the county road is upgraded.

Street also expressed his frustration regarding what he feels is a lack of communication between the residents of the area and the Town of Milan. Because his residence is located outside of town limits, he as well as other residents had no representation at the meetings regarding Pike Lumber.

Health concerns for those living in the area were also addressed by Street, whose wife has asthma. According to Street, the increased traffic will cause more dust which will aggravate her symptoms.
Baker told the commissioners that he believes that the area is not the right location for an industry such as Pike Lumber. He also has concerns regarding the future of the area, due to the re-zone of the property. Baker was concerned that the re-zone will create an opportunity for more industry in a residential area.

Both Street and Baker are in support of the project as well as economic development for Milan. Street pointed out that those living on Country Club Drive had an opportunity to speak for their community. “We would like the same consideration as those who live on Country Club Drive,” said Street.

Reiners thanked Street and Baker for expressing their concerns. He explained that the commissioners can only address the county road issue. He assured them that after the improvements, CR 200 N will be able to support the increased truck traffic and weight.

Ripley County Economic Development Director Gary Norman presented a letter from Aecon which supported the recommendations from the Ripley County Highway Garage regarding additional thickness to the blacktop and width of the road.

“We are happy when companies choose Ripley County as long as they are environmentally sound,” said Reiners.

Reiners explained that funding will come from the riverboat money and not increase the taxes of those living in Ripley County.

Versailles Town Council President John Holzer spoke with the commissioners regarding the maintenance of the clock in the courthouse. According to Holzer, this is a unique situation due to the clock being donated to the town, but housed in a county building.

He explained that the town is unable to repair the leaks in the clock which are causing damage to some of the offices in the courthouse. Reiners suggested getting another estimate on the cost of repairs and requested the town pay for half of the cost. Holzer agreed to continue to communicate with the county regarding the issue.

In other business:
• The commissioners unanimously approved the purchase of new chairs for the superior court.

• Under the commissioners recommendations, technology director Kelly Vollet will restrict Internet use for those in violation of the use of Facebook, and other social networks, used by some of the county offices. According to Vollet, the use of these programs may be the source of viruses on the server.

• The motion to approve the amendment from Tyler Technology, which is an additional cost for assessment and trending due to changes at the state level, was unanimously approved.

• The commissioners unanimously agreed to participate in the 2010 Census by providing a liaison to work with the Census Bureau.

• The request to approve the state student assistant work study by Ripley County Extension Director Dave Osborne was approved.

• The commissioners approved the agreement between ABLE and the county extension office to place someone in the office for 20 hours per week.

All commissioners were in attendance along with county auditor Mary Ann McCoy and county attorney Neil Comer to advise. Due to the Labor Day holiday, the next meeting will be held on Friday, September 4 beginning at 7 a.m. at the Ripley County Highway Garage in Osgood and reconvening at the commissioners’ room in the courthouse annex at 8 a.m.