gives approval for new business
Beth Rumsey, Staff Writer
Despite opposition from residents living on County Road 200 N, Milan,
the Milan Town Council unanimously approved the motion to accept
the agreement with Pike Lumber at a special meeting on Tuesday,
September 1. I dont think you can find any better people
to work with than this company, board president Paul Hildebrand
told the audience.
Brad Street, who lives on CR 200 N, presented a petition of those
residents who are opposed to the proposed route that the trucks
will use as access to SR 101. Also, Street asserts that the residents
were not properly notified of the change from the original plan
of access to the highway via Country Club Drive, announced in the
initial public meeting with representatives from Pike Lumber earlier
As representatives of the residents of CR 200 N, Street made the
following formal requests: the rejection of the proposed zoning
change from R-1 Residential and A-2 Agricultural to I-1 Industrial;
that the board consider moving the location of the proposed business
or walk away from the proposed venture; a request for an immediate
copy of the meeting at which the alternative route was discussed;
the most current plans of the access road proposed; and finally
that the town board award the same rights and consideration given
to the resident of Country Club Drive.
Street and those in opposition to the truck route assured the town
board members that they are not opposed to new industry developing
in Milan, but rather the proposed truck route. Preliminary reports
from Pike Lumber from the first public meeting stated that an average
of two trucks per hour during hours of operation will be entering
and exiting the facility.
The town board had approached the county commissioners regarding
the use of the county road as entrance and exit to the facility
as well as SR 101. At the suggestion of the county highway superintendent
and Aecon, an engineering company used by the county on several
projects, the town will need to improve the roadway by adding a
three inch overlay and gravel berms where needed.
Gary Norman, Executive Director of the Ripley County Economic Development,
recapped the Pike Lumber project. Pike Lumber has been in business
since 1908. There are currently two facilities located in Akron
Pike currently has a staging area in Lookout. All by-products of
the logging operation are used, for example: sawdust is compressed
into pellets. According to Norman, the company expects to employ
approximately 20 jobs at an average wage of approximately $14 per
As was stated at the August Planning Commission meeting, Pike Lumber
chose the location because of a nearby lake and the water table,
important for the processing of the lumber. Norman explained that
the economic impact would be about $30 million over a ten-year period.
This would mean money put into local economy via the purchase of
goods and services.
At the same meeting, Ripley County Extension Director David Osborne
stated that Pike was environmentally responsible. The company will
be working with IDEM and the Indiana DNR to prevent any flood damage
or any contaminate issues.
Norman stated that he is confident that no other business would
be interested in locating in the location where Pike Lumber will
be situated. Most businesses will want to locate in a more
level area, Norman said.
As part of the agreement between the town and Pike Lumber, those
available jobs will be given to those who live in the Milan area.
If we can keep jobs in the town, then we can keep money in
the town, said Hildebrand.
In other business, the board unanimously approved the hiring of
Jeff French as surveyor for the project as well as Barth and Associates