The county’s proposed thoroughfare plan is moving forward without two potential road extensions that drew opposition from residents.
The plan commission removed C.R. 650N and C.R. 100E from a map of low-priority extensions Wednesday before giving the document a stamp of approval. The plan now goes to the county commissioners for another vote.
Here’s where things stand:
What is a thoroughfare plan?
Think of it as a guidebook for county officials on managing the transportation network over the next decade and beyond. If enacted, it would become part of the county’s comprehensive plan.
What’s in the plan?
Among other things, a list of potential projects such as road extensions, overpasses and rail crossing upgrades to improve access to major highways and industrial areas.
When does construction start?
Not for a while. It could be years before any projects start, if officials choose to pursue them and can find the money. The plan is not a list of actual projects and does not authorize road construction or dictate funding.
“This is not an open checkbook when we would start building these roads and start spending the money,” plan commission member John Frey said during Wednesday’s meeting. “We’re doing this because we don’t have any money … so we can prioritize the small amount of money we do have.”
Why did residents speak out?
People who live near C.R. 650N and C.R. 100E say the extended roads would have divided their properties and created more traffic. Residents also want the county to patch up existing roads first before new ones are built.
Julie Bullerdick, who said the extension would cut through her family’s farm, fears the work could begin much sooner if funding becomes available.
“You say you’re closing a gap on a road, but you know that it’s devastating our lives,” Bullerdick said.
After the commission voted to remove the roads, member Aaron Morgan said the board should discuss alternatives.
“I do think that planning for that type of road in that area of the community is important and I just want to go on record saying that we as a board need to look at that and work hard at finding a solution that works for the county and the community,” Morgan said.
What happens next?
Commissioners will discuss the plan and could decide to reinsert the deleted roads, make other changes or leave the draft as is. Their next meeting is 8 a.m. Oct. 14 at the courthouse.
If any changes are made, the document returns to the plan commission for another review. County commissioners have the final vote on the plan.