Seymour City Council will take a final vote today on a request to pave the way for construction of a Casey’s General Store on the city’s west side.
Council members voted 5-2 earlier this month in favor of an ordinance to vacate a 16-foot alley running to the west of a vacant lot in the 600 block of West Tipton Street and Pine Street in between Hildreth’s Liquor Mart and Apple Auto Sales.
That’s where Casey’s wants to build a 4,300-square-foot convenience store and fueling station.
“We’re asking to vacate that alley in order to give us enough room for access to the new store we would would like to build there,” said Mathias Smith with Casey’s Marketing Co.
Smith said the project has received preliminary approval from Indiana Department of Transportation, which has jurisdiction on any curb cuts needed on U.S. 50.
Tonight’s council meeting is at 7 p.m. at Seymour City Hall, 301 N. Chestnut St.
Councilmen Shawn Malone and Matt Nicholson voted against the request on Dec. 12. By vacating the alley, they said the council would be limiting access to the used car lot.
The alley is not the main access to Apple Auto Sales, but it is one owner Tom Fenton has said he uses daily to park and move cars on and off the lot. He also has access off Lynn Street to the west of his property.
Nicholson suggested Casey’s and Fenton work together to make the alley work for both parties, but Smith said INDOT would likely rule the alley could no longer be accessed off U.S. 50 once the city vacates it.
A curb and shrubbery would be put up between the two properties instead to meet the city’s landscaping requirements, he added.
The new Casey’s also would have an entrance and exit off of Pine Street.
J.B. Hackman of Seymour spoke in favor of the city vacating the alley. His parents, Willard and Linda Hackman, own the vacant property, which is less than an acre in size.
Hackman said his father inherited the property and invested money to clean it up by tearing down some old, run down homes there.
“Now we have a chance to get a modern day building, a progressive company into Seymour,” he said of Casey’s proposal. “I don’t think they are blocking off or shutting off anybody’s access.”
Fenton could ask for another curb cut on his side if he wanted to, Hackman added.
Councilman John Reinhart said he thinks Fenton has plenty of access to his car lot. The alley will likely need to be vacated for any commercial development, he said.
“There’s not a whole lot of use for an alley down through there,” he said.
Councilman Dave Earley suggested that Fenton might want to reorganize how the cars are parked on the property.
Besides improving the property visually, Hackman said the Casey’s project would benefit the city in other ways.
“I think it’s good for Seymour to clean it up more and get something that will generate plenty of taxes, where it’s not generating anything right now,” he said. “I don’t think it will be imperative to (Fenton’s) business at all as far as operating it day to day.”
Casey’s currently operates a site at 400 N. O’Brien St. in Seymour that offers a bakery and hot food, including pizza and delivery. That location opened in February 2002.
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What: Seymour City Council meeting
Where: City Hall, 301 N. Chestnut St.
When: 7 p.m. tonight
On the agenda:
Second reading of an ordinance to vacate an alley in the 600 Block of West Tipton Street.