City commission OKs plans for new Subway restaurant

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By Vince Luecke

Street-vacation near Tell Street tabled; firm wants to buy Ramsey land

TELL CITY - Tell City's Subway restaurant is expected to change locations this summer, a move made more certain Thursday after Scott Dixon's plans for a new 1,600-square-foot building won approval from the Tell City Plan Commission. Dixon said the store, which will be located just off Old Highway Road and Hospital Road south of the Tell City Shopping Center, will include a drive-through. Dixon owns the site and will lease the building to the restaurant's operator.

Dixon presented preliminary plans last month to the city's technical advisory committee, a group composed of utility heads and representatives of the city's council and fire department. The committee often serves as a first stop for developers planning various projects. The committee found no fault in Dixon's proposal and the required development plan won unanimous support from the commission.

Dixon and Calvin Cash of the engineering firm Cash-Waggner presented plans for the restaurant, parking and traffic flow. Original plans called for the traffic to enter the restaurant parking area and drive through off of Hospital Road, but Dixon said he didn't want to hinder traffic on that roadway. Plans were adjusted so customers will enter from Old Highway Road.

Commission members credited Dixon's foresight.

"I think the plan presented to the technical advisory board was well thought out and the committee did their job well," plan-commission member Paul Sprinkle said.

The vote to adopt the development plan was unanimous.

Dixon said the existing Subway restaurant will relocate to the new location this summer. If all goes well, the restaurant will be open by late June.

Commission Seeks Details About Tell Street Project

A Ferdinand company was asked to return with more detailed plans for a strip of land eyed for development along Tell Street. Members said they would favor an office building or medical-related project for the land east of the Tell City-Perry County Public Library, but voiced concern about any self-storage project.

Progressive Investment Co. has entered into a purchase agreement with the property's owner, Adam Ramsey, for the land fronting Tell Street east of the library.

Keys to the deal, however, said, Kevin Tretter, a member of Progressive Investment Co., are rezoning the land and the vacation of portions of 25th and 26th streets. If the city vacates the property, the company would be able to use more of the land, making it more easily developed.

The two streets are platted but are unimproved.

Tretter said his company has no definite plans for the property, but predicted it could be used for business or medical space. Asked to list other possible options, he mentioned self-storage. That raised concern.

Plan commission members, including John Little - a member of the city council - said he wanted to see more details about the company's plans. However, Tretter said a development plan would have to be created before any work could begin and the commission would have a say in approving those plans.

Obtaining a plan-commission recommendation for vacating the two streets was a needed first step.

The city council has approved street vacations in recent years, often asking for payment for giving up platted streets. However, plan commission and city council attorney Jim Tyler predicted council members would also want details on the development going into the site.

Commission member Mack Cail asked Tretter to submit a list of possible projects. "We have to make sure (the project) would be a good fit," he said.

Tretter said his company wouldn't develop a project unsuitable for the area and had already been in contact with Brett Mulzer, who has proposed a residential development on the south side of Tell Street.

A development plan for the project would likely have to address how the area would be served by sanitary sewers and how to control stormwater. The property drains into Windy Creek, a tributary that already overflows its banks during periods of heavy rain.

Tretter said the northwest corner of the property would likely be used to create some sort of retention basin that would capture excess runoff and release it slowly.

Little said city leaders would probably want to know how any retention basin would be maintained in the future.

Walgreens Exploring Tell City Store

Representatives of the national drugstore chain Walgreens, or a developer interested in opening a store in Tell City, were expected but didn't appear at January's meeting of the technical advisory committee.

Walgreens is reportedly interested in constructing a store on the northwest corner of the intersection of Tell and 12th streets in Tell City but has not made any of its plans public. However, Tell City Building Inspector Bob Young said he talked to the attorney representing the developer looking at the site and was told that Wal-greens' corporate office was reviewing the plan.

The advisory committee's next meeting is Feb. 27.

2008 Officers, New Members Welcomed

Plan-commission members elected officers for the year. Little was the group's choice for president, with Cail vice president and Sprinkle serving as secretary. Four new members were welcomed to the commission. New to the board in 2008 are Mark Laflin, Ryan Oberhausen, Derek Kleemann and Kaye Kleeman.