The meeting began with David Blankenship joining the Planning
Commission as a member. Blankenship is replacing Bill Martin, as was
the case with Blankenship’s appointment to the Logan County Board.
Bicycle Trail Progress
Will D’Andrea and Bret Aukamp provided news on IDOT to the
Commission. A few years ago, IDOT began offering grants for
transportation planning projects. At that time, the Commission
decided to use transportation related grant money to fund the
creation of the Bicycle Trail Plan. D’Andrea said another cycle of
grants will be issued soon, and wondered if the Commission will want
to apply once again.
D’Andrea said he believes that should the Commission apply for the
grant, the natural progression would be to move on the next phase of
planning for the bike trails. However, D’Andrea also noted that
there may be other ideas the Commission wants to bring forward.
“I like the idea of continuing with the bike trail plan, but the
airport could be worth exploring, too,” said Keith Snyder.
Fred Finchum said that Atlanta would like to work towards acquiring
funds to build better roads for the heavy truck traffic that moves
through the town. IDOT grants could be used for such a project.
Finchum also said continuation of the bicycle trail plan sounds like
a good use of the funds. “Bike planning is a real high priority,”
Aukamp said an alternative might be to use the money as part of a
greater effort towards asset management within the county. In other
words, use the grant to fund the process of organizing the various
assets and data collections within the Highway Department. In
addition, Aukamp said he also feels that continuing the progress on
the bike trail plan would be a good choice.
“That would be a little more tangible at this point, for this entity
and the public to see the return on those funds,” said Aukamp.
Chairman Bill Graff said that the amount of money received with the
grant would not be enough to get a start on larger projects, such as
building roads that can hold more weight in Atlanta. “We could
probably do phase two of the bike plan and get something done,” said
The grant would provide somewhere between $11,000 and $14,000. A
clear total is unknown at this time. The Commission members voted
unanimously to apply for the grant with the intention of using the
money to continue working on the Bicycle Trail Plan.
Commission member Jim Vipond said he has been working with a group
of individuals who would like to see walking paths created as part
of the overall [Trail] Plan. If they know that the Commission is
actively looking to acquire more funds, it will help to bring in
more people from outside who want to be part of the project.
[to top of second column]
A petition came forward to the Planning Commission for a
rezoning of land from manufacturing to business. The Grace
Lutheran Church is looking to rent the Maple Club in the near
future. As a church cannot be placed in land zoned for
manufacturing, a change needs to be made.
Currently, the Maple Club is not in use. The owner of the
property has already agreed to rezone the land before it is
rented by the church.
The church would only be using the Maple Club building. A
representative of the church (whose name was not given) was
present at the meeting to say that the church plans to rent the
Maple Club with the possibility of purchasing it left open in
the future. The building would likely only be used on Sundays.
The representative said he did not expect traffic to become an
issue, and the landowner has not had a problem with traffic so
D’Andrea said that if the church should decide to leave, a
business designation would allow for a greater variety of
operations to be built on the property than a manufacturing
The Commission members voted to recommend the rezone to the
Zoning Board of Appeals. The ZBA will provide their
recommendation to the County Board.
Before the meeting ended, D’Andrea read a letter from Tim Evans
stating that his father Dave Evans has decided to resign his
seat on the commission due to poor health. The letter indicated
that Evans was grateful for the opportunity to work with the
Commission members present were Lincoln Chairman Bill Graff,
Vice Chairman Jim Fuhrer, Lincoln Mayor Keith Snyder, Jeff
Hoinacki, County Highway engineer Bret Aukamp, David Blankenship
[replacing Bill Martin as a representative of the County Board],
Fred Finchum, Blair Hoerbert, Jim Vipond and Gerald Lolling.
Zoning Officer Will D’Andrea was also present.
[By DEREK HURLEY]