Car wash causes controversy

By Kelsey Kimbler -

LEWISBURG —Whether or not a proposed car wash should be allowed in the Village of Lewisburg was one main topic of discussion during a council meeting on Thursday, April 20.

The proposed car wash has become a hot topic in the village. A public hearing was held during a meeting on Thursday, March 16, during which many Lewisburg residents made their concerns public record. The car wash is proposed in a Neighborhood Business District, so it will require a zoning change.

Resident Barbara Felton stated her concerns were due to traffic, Steve Shiverdecker stated noise as his concern, and Marsha Sink cited noise, lights, and water run-off as her concerns.

Park Harry stated that all the concerns could be addressed.

Felton and Shiverdecker came back to speak during the council meeting on Thursday, April 20. Felton started the discussion by asking for council to read the minutes from the last council meeting, held on Thursday, April 6.

She explained, “I want you to read it to the group to explain what happened, since none of us were there.”

The minutes explained that a zoning ordinance for the car wash was put in front of council and they passed it, approving car washes to be a permitted use instead of conditionally permitted use. Council read the ordinance by title only and waived the three reading rule, making this the only time the issue would be in front of council. No council members voted against the ordinance.

Those members of the public who attended the meeting believed this was a “backhanded” move by council and this is why they chose to attend the meeting to speak. Felton said, “I just want to be sure that the board is aware of our position and what we have been through with this zoning issue.”

She continued to explain, this issue has come before the public before and they have never been in favor, as they live next to or near the lot in consideration.

Felton said the public was aware of the public hearing on March 16, but was not present for April 6, as they did not know the meeting was going to be held. She went on to share her concerns with the car wash, including: safety and traffic, noise, waste water, trash, and the location.

Shiverdecker simply said, ”I’d like to address how you guys handled this. When I was here the last time with my neighbors, I watched you guys stare at the table and shuffle your feet and nobody wanted to raise their hand and vote on this, but as soon as we weren’t here you guys didn’t have a problem with voting it in. I have a word for that in my vocabulary, but it’s not appropriate to use so I’m just going to go with ‘cowardly.’”

In other business:

•Lewisburg’s very own K9 officer Apollo attended the Lewisburg Village Council meeting on Thursday, April 20, to show off his new ballistic vest, donated by Spike’s K9 Fund.

The vest is military grade and designed to be lightweight and easy to work in.

•Council is preparing for a tax levy on the November 2017 ballot. This is a levy renewal for the Fire and EMS departments of Lewisburg, of $2.25 million. Council had to approve a resolution to put the issue onto the ballot, which they did after waiving the three reading rule.

•Council approved an ordinance making appropriations to the budget, to allow for the purchase of the MARCS radio system, which Lewisburg Fire Department received a grant for through the State.

•Village Administrator Jeffery Sewert proposed one final resolution, for an ODOT project on Clay Street. This will allow the sidewalks on Clay Street to tie into the village’s bike-way. The village has received more than $225,000 from ODOT for the project. Council waived the remaining two readings. This project will go out to bid in the middle of May.

In other news:

There was a mock crash held at Tri-County North High School to prepare students for prom, on Friday, April 21. This event is held once every two years, so every student (whether junior or senior) gets a chance to see it once.

Tornado sirens were tested several weeks back. They are always tested on the first Wednesday of every month, but if the weather is bad they are not tested. If a siren is heard during bad weather on the first Wednesday of the month, it is not a test.

Royal Canin will allow Apollo to train on their property.

The next Lewisburg Village Council meeting will be held on Thursday, May 4, at 7:30 p.m., at Lewisburg’s firehouse.

By Kelsey Kimbler

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH

Reach Kelsey Kimbler at 937-683-4061 or on Twitter @KKimbler_RH