By Dedra Cordle
The village of Urbancrest could see more manufacturing developments in the near future.
At the Aug. 14 council meeting, Jeff Mahan, chairman of C.J. Mahan Construction, was in attendance to speak of the company’s intention to build multiple facilities in the community.
“The master plan calls for three manufacturing developments in the village and one in Grove City over the next five to 10 years,” he said.
The company has been excavating land on Lewis Centre Way, but there have been no building plans submitted as of yet.
“We’re ready to move on it,” said Mahan in reference to the first build, which is slated for light manufacturing.
He told council that there have been no tenant agreements to date but one company, Orange Barrel Media, has expressed interest in the planned facility.
After his presentation, which included a rendering of what the facility may look like, the council, the administration and some residents in the audience expressed concern in regards to the volume of traffic the plant could bring.
In response, Mahan said there would be additional vehicular traffic on Lewis Centre Way and Southwest Boulevard, but he assured village council that the company would not open Third Avenue as an access point.
Mayor Joseph Barnes Sr. later said that the restriction is a good thing for the village.
“We cannot afford to allow that kind of access on our residential roads,” he said, referring to not only the wear and tear of truck traffic, but employee traffic as well.
An additional concern that was brought up was the retention pond on the property ground. Resident Edward Cooley said ponds like that bring in mosquitoes, frogs, snakes and a host of other problems he would rather not deal with.
Mahan said they would work with the village to see if another site would be more feasible.
Councilwoman Alicia Wiggins inquired about building visibility from residential roads.
“Will there be landscaping similar to that along Gantz Road?” she asked.
Mahan said there are landscaping plans and intentions to place plants and trees along the property but within reason.
“We don’t want to overdo it,” he said.
An additional question regarding employment was brought up by councilman S. Henry Warr.
Mahan said that depends on the needs of the tenant but estimated some could employ upwards of 30 people.
The next stage in the process, said Mahan, was to seek additional permits and then get the approval of council to go forward with the first build project.
In other news, council approved holding caucus sessions before the regular monthly meetings. In the caucus, which is open to the public, the council will speak of items related to the forthcoming agenda. It will begin at 6:30 p.m. unless noted otherwise.