|Planning Board Suggestions Include Steps to Reduce Tomato Odor|
|Written by Nancy Bowman|
|Wednesday, 16 October 2013 00:00|
Tipp City Planning Board members have several suggestions for future city capital improvement projects (CIP) such as establishing train quiet zones through town, taking steps to reduce odors from a local tomato processing business and exploring an interstate ramp at Evanston Road.
Also suggested during the board’s Oct. 8 discussion of possible projects were enhancements to West Main Street/Interstate 75 entrance/exit area and maintenance of previously installed streetscape elements along West Main Street.
The suggestions followed a September presentation to the board of proposed updated CIP plans for the next five years. The suggestions will be forwarded to city council.
Council met for several hours in late September to review the proposed plan and discuss possible additions. At the September presentation, City Manager Jon Crusey asked the planning board to review the plan and offer any additional suggestions.
Board members came up with several suggestions.
Brent Rawlins said he had prepared a letter to Crusey asking the city to investigate train horn noise reduction efforts. “I wholeheartedly support that,” board chair Stacy Wall said.
Rawlins said in his letter that while train traffic is important to commerce, the horn noise has been a problem locally for decades. “Practical solutions do exist,” he added, pointing to information available on the Federal Railroad Administration web site about how to create quiet zones while complying with regulations.
Board member Paul Lee said he thinks the train noise has gotten louder over the years. Less train-related noise would greatly improve the downtown, he said.
Wall suggested a possible study regarding another Interstate 75 ramp to the city in the Evanston Road area. The city is seeing growth in that area, which already includes Ginghamsburg Church and its large congregation, she said.
Board member Mark Springer, who said he agreed, pointed out that when another exit was discussed in the past, the board was told the number of exits is based on population. Wall said perhaps the city could ask the Ohio Department of Transportation again about requirements.
Another possible project suggested by Wall was a look at the smell from tomato processing at Tip Top Canning.
“It is a natural issue, I am sure, from producing the tomatoes, but I really don’t know where the issue comes from,” Wall said. “Is there some type of screening, state funding, something to help with economic growth that maybe we can look at?”
The issue, she said, is not easy to talk about, but is a topic at football games and other outdoor sporting events when visitors comment on the smell. “I do hear a lot of visitors to our town talking about that, as well as people who live here,” Wall said.
Rawlins agreed. “If we could reduce the smell, that would be great,” he said.
Board member Mark Springer brought up the look of the I-75 and State Route 571 exit area. He was not talking about a major overhaul but “something to aesthetically deal with the look of that exit,” he said.
Lee agreed, saying the view at the exit is the first thing people see coming in from the I-75. Lee also suggested a concerted effort to maintain areas previously enhanced with streetscape projects. He pointed particularly to the West Main Street area beautified in earlier streetscape programs, saying it has been allowed to deteriorate.