Plans for former mens shelter OK'd

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Commission gives green thumbs up to nursery project

By Vince Luecke

TELL CITY – Upcoming renovations to a Main Street building that formerly housed a shelter for homeless men were approved last Thursday by the Tell City Plan Commission. Also given an OK was a development plan for a new nursery proposed for Tell City's north side.

After reviewing reports from the State Fire Marshal's Office, the city commission approved Liberty Church's development plan for the former Harvest House in the 400 block of Main Street.

Pastor Ray Batie said the first floor of the building, damaged by a fire that closed the shelter, will be renovated for use as a church. Upper floors will be used solely for storage.

Batie said he's worked for two years to get state and local officials to OK his ideas, including a sanctuary, classrooms and a kitchen. The plans presented to the commission reflect requirements of the fire marshal's office, which visited the building after the fire and established requirements  for exit signs and minimum window sizes that must be met for the structure to be approved for use.

A rear portion of the building was razed last year to ensure a sufficient number of parking spaces. The city is also requiring a kitchen grease trap in to prevent clogged sewer lines.

Batie repeated a statement made at a previous meeting of the plan commission's technical-advisory committee that the building will not be used as a shelter.

City Building Inspector Bob Young encouraged Batie and other church members to have the project done within a year. If not, any new changes in local or state rules would apply to the project.


Mike and Andy Hoesli, representing M&S Groceries, presented plans for a nursery they want to open on land along Indiana 66 on the city's north side.

During a September meeting of the city's technical advisory committee, the Hoeslis outlined plans for  placing up to nine greenhouses, as well as pole-type storage and sales buildings, at the site.

Also included in their plans are parking spaces for customers.

Because the site is on the fringe of the floodplain,  a Department of Natural Resources analysis was conducted and the plan commission asked that any permanent buildings be constructed to meet Federal Emergency Management Agency floodplain rules. The Hoeslis will also be required to erect a fence within a year.

Their development plan, as did that of Liberty Church, passed unanimously.