Development

Rezone approved for new subdivision

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A 19-acre parcel of farm land south of Crawfordsville will be rezoned for a new housing subdivision.

The Montgomery County Board of Commissioners on Monday approved a request from developer Ratcliff Inc. to rezone the land after defeating a similar bid in the fall. Ratcliff plans to build 11 homes on the east side of U.S. 231 between C.R. 300S and 400S.

Neighbors raised concerns last year over plans showing the proposed subdivision’s entrance cutting across a nearby property. Commissioners denied the rezoning petition in September.

Ratcliff re-filed the request after obtaining a commercial driveway permit from the state and the entrance was rerouted. The request received a favorable recommendation from the Montgomery County Plan Commission.

One nearby homeowner voiced opposition to the subdivision over traffic concerns, said Marc Bonwell, county building and zoning administrator.

In other business, commissioners voted to lift the travel advisory issued during last week’s winter storm. Drivers were urged to still use caution on gravel roads as the snow melts.

County highway director Jake Lough received approval to enter into a contract with DTN, a Nebraska-based weather forecasting company, for weather prediction services.

The $3,300 system includes pavement temperature predictions, which help plow crews treat roads. Lough was using a trial period of the service when the snowstorm hit.

“The most it was off was like a quarter-inch for the snow events we had previously,” Lough said.

Lough thanked county agencies for assisting in the storm response and residents and the Board of Commissioners for providing food to highway crews.

Bids were opened for this year’s Community Crossings grant paving projects. Bids totaling nearly $2 million were received from Rieth-Riley Construction Co. and Milestone Contractors, Lafayette, and Harding Group, Indianapolis.

Crews will be paving about 7 miles of roads with the funding. Those include Camp Rotary Road from State Road 32 to C.R. 300S, eastward on 300S to State Road 47 and C.R. 400W from State Road 32 to U.S. 136.

Estimated cost for the paving is nearly $1.2 million. The state will contribute 75% of the cost.

In other business, commissioners:

• Extended the COVID-19 public health emergency until March 31. The declaration gives officials special powers to respond to pandemic-related needs in between government meetings.

• Introduced an ordinance to re-establish the cumulative capital development fund at $.0333 per $100 of assessed valuation. The fund provides money for capital projects.

• Introduced an ordinance to re-establish the cumulative bridge fund rate at $.075 per $100 of assessed valuation. The fund is used to pay for construction, repair, maintenance and inspection of county bridges.

• Appointed Pat Richie to the Property Tax Board of Appeals and Summer Ervin to the Montgomery County Health Board.

• Introduced an ordinance changing the speed limit on C.R. 300N between C.R. 100W and 200W to 35 mph and establishing a 30 mph speed limit for Glen Way Drive.

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