Proposed Cardington car wash sparks contention with residents

By Evelyn Long - for the Morrow County Sentinel

When Cardington Village Council met in regular session on July 20, 2015 the meeting opened with a public hearing held to review an ordinance requesting the rezoning of 0.648 acres at 123 Gilead Street from existing single family residential district (R-l) to general business district (B-l).

Tim Hack, who was present with his wife, Patty, displayed his drawing to scale of the proposed car wash at the site, 123 Gilead Street. Currently a residence is on that lot which Hack has owned for nine years.

Hack, who owns a car wash in Edison which he installed ten years ago, pointed out the areas that will have a nice aesthetic appearance; utilizing the existing drive and widening it, and a 20 foot buffer between the black top and the privacy fence. Headlights of cars would go with the traffic and facing the Duke Station. He will install a sidewalk and the sounds of the car wash would be on a timer so they would be muffled after a certain evening hour.

The proposal was met with less than enthusiastic responses from some members of the public and council.

Speaking against the proposal were Cathy Stemen, Drew Carrigan, Larry and Jean Smith, Teresa Snyder, Ardena Christian, Terry Angel and Marnie Buckel. All of these residents reside on Gilead Street with the exception of Christian and Buckel, who live on Riverview Drive.

These residents each cited different reasons but were in agreement on the possible increase in traffic resulting in long lines stretching into the highway; more chances for accidents, lights from the business would shine into their homes, the noise would bother and there would be a probable decrease in their residential values. They noted the number of accidents and near accidents on that stretch of the highway. This area lies inside the corporation limit.

Jim Ullom spoke in favor of the proposal, noting that the current car wash is broken and no one repairs it, so the village has no reliable car wash. He also gave a nod to the automatic role of the proposed new car wash.

Village Administrator Danny Wood pointed out the revenue this business would bring the village from the $34,000 tap in fee to the use of the two to three inch water and sewer lines. “This is an opportunity to expand for our village,” he said.

Fiscal Officer Deb Fry compared the amount of real estate tax revenue, which would be higher, compared to that being assessed currently on the residence that is on that lot. Real estate tax revenue goes into the general fund, she said, which helps fund many village needs.

Mayor Susie Peyton said that the state would have to approve the plans of Mr. Hack and it would also have to be approved by the Planning and Zoning Committee.

When asked, Hack said he could sell the property because he doesn’t want to be a landlord – he likes being a businessman and especially that of being a car wash owner.

Village Solicitor Jim Dietz explained that council would vote on this measure later in the evening and it requires a 3/4 vote for approval. He explained that it came with no recommendation from the Planning and Zoning Committee because there were only three members of the five member committee present and those three members did not give either a “no” or “yes” vote. By ORC rules it will take a 3/4 vote of council to approve it.

Later in the meeting, council discussed the proposal.

Following a negative response by a council member, Mayor Peyton asked, “Are you thinking this through – the money we would be taking in each year? We’ve talked in this meeting forever about the need for more water customers. In talking to people in town, everyone goes to Edison to the car wash.” She added, “He’s going to put a car wash in another village and we are going to lose out again.” She asked, “Do we need sidewalks there? Yes, we are getting new sidewalks.” She added, “This property is larger than the one in Edison. If we lose this we are going to lose out on revenue.”

Nippert said he got elected to do what is best for the community and I think that is a bad location. He described a scenario where on a sunny day after a winter thaw there would be dozens of cars lined up and backed up on the highway causing problems for oncoming traffic. It’s a bad location.”

Peyton said Hack’s drawings demonstrate more cars can be stacked than that in Edison.

The mayor said the state has to give its approval to the final plans and any grading done would have to be approved by the state.

Morris said, “I don’t see a safety issue – I’ve lived there for 40 years and I have never seen any safety problem. The car wash is not going to add a bit to the safety issue- there is going to be a sidewalk there. There’s always been two businesses there – a bar and a gas station and no more accidents happened there than usual. Looking at this drawing there could be as many as ten cars in that drive at the car wash site. I just can’t see this as a safety issue.”

“When cars are lined up from that car wash in the highway and a truck comes around that bridge they will have no where to go with a line up of cars there,” said Council Member Vickie Wise.

Voting for the measure were council members Jim Morris, Heather Deskins and Sherry Graham. Voting against it were council members Vickie Wise, Bill Christian and John Nippert.

Mayor Peyton, expressing her disappointment, said she had hoped that the village could expand with this new business as it needs growth and revenue. She noted that the village recently lost a pharmacy that had sought a location here.

Because of the tie vote, the ORC requires that a second reading be made. This will take place at the August 3 meeting.

In other matters, council approved two resolutions that were approved earlier, regarding the village levy proposals. Fry said when she took the approved resolutions to the Board of Elections, she was informed these allowed the village to obtain the certificates from the Morrow County

Auditor’s office that were required but an additional resolution was needed for each levy to be added to the November Primary election. The new resolutions needed to reflect an approved date after the certificate date of June 23, 2015. These resolutions were approved at this meeting meeting the filing deadline of August 1, 2015.

Council approved payment of bills totaling $58,751.66. Included were payments to Belson Outdoors for the picnic tables for Heimlich and the American Legion Parks in the amount of $2093.50 and $28,140.00 to OHM advisors for water tower bid costs and engineering SVCS for the 1930 waterline replacement project.

The Summary of Revenue reflected an increased amount of income ta received from RITA in 2015.

Passed as emergency legislation was an ordinance establishing compensation for certain village employees. This includes a 2% pay increase and changes requested by the fire chief. This legislation effective July 20 will be paid on August 7.

There are ten applicants for the street worker position, said Wood.

Earlier Jean Smith reported that a Produce Market will be hosted by Cardington Community Food Pantry on Friday, July 31, 2015 at the Cardington-Lincoln High School Parking Lot from 11 am to 1 pm. Patrons are asked to bring their own boxes.

Council will meet next on August 3, 2015 at 7 pm.

Evelyn Long is a correspondent with the Morrow County Sentinel and can be reached at [email protected]

By Evelyn Long

for the Morrow County Sentinel