UNION — Residents of Butler Twp. voiced concerns to members of Union City Council Monday evening over the impact the Proctor & Gamble distribution center is having on their homes.
Tom Zeigler asked council why there was a need for a left turn lane from Old Springfield Road to Union Air Park Boulevard. He pointed out that council had promised there would be no truck traffic using Old Springfield to reach the P&G facility. Zeigler stated that about 20 to 25 semis a day use the road. Zeigler said the city removed the “no trucks” sign that was on the roadway.
Assistant City Manager Denise Winemiller said the county actually removed the sign. The county stated that semis had always used the roadway and would be allowed to continue to do so. She explained the left turn lane was necessary to make the roadway safer.
Zeigler also inquired about when the paving would be completed on Old Springfield. Winemiller said the road is scheduled to be paved from Ballenger Road to Dog Leg Road, but that all utilities must be in place before the paving can occur.
Another township resident, Dewey Meade, complained that no communication is taking place between Union and Butler Twp. officials. He stated that he has contacted township officials about certain issues related to P&G and roadway improvements and township officials claim they get no input from the city.
“Why can’t you two organizations talk to each other? All of us here are kind of caught in the middle of this power struggle going on up here,” Meade said.
He also stated that he is a regular traveler of Union Air Park Boulevard and he can’t understand why many of the trucks exiting P&G park on the side of the road or in the center turn lane. He said he almost hit a truck driver last week when the driver exited his truck and stepped into the left lane. He said he has seen as many as five semis parked along the side of the road and as many as four in the center turn lane all at the same time creating a tunnel for other motorists to drive through.
“It’s an accident waiting to happen,” Meade said. He said the simple solution would be to put in a third lane for trucks to park on instead of having “Russian Roulette” parking.
He also said he got up one morning and found stakes in his yard with no warning from the city as to why they were placed there. Winemiller said City Manager John Applegate has spoken to residents to explain about planned improvements, but Meade said he had never been spoken to.
Pamela Geisler of County Line Road, who lives on a farm within the city limits, said the city did a good job cleaning out the ditch adjacent to her property but no ditches south have been cleaned. She said during heavy rain events the water runs onto the farmland and causes soil loss.
“This needs to be addressed because everything that comes from Union Air Park we are delivery place that it comes to on our farm,” Geisler said. “We get everything from the road, we get it off the building, we get it when it comes over from the pond whenever it comes over its banks and at some point down at Jackson Road it tilts towards us. Our creek used to go dry but when they started digging for the building we’ve never had a dry creek, which is fine because they hit a spring and now we get spring water.”
Geisler said when an inch of rain fell on August 3 the creek level rose and was filled with “nasty looking foamy stuff” for the entire day. Another resident, Duane Deal, said the city recently cleaned dirt out of the concrete culverts on both sides of Old Springfield so that might have stirred up the creek and made it muddy and foamy.
“I’m not sure what can come off the P&G parking lot or what it can pick up when it comes out of there, unless somebody else along the way had thrown something in some ditches, which I can’t believe that since it is mostly farmland along there,” she said. “I have always been apprehensive since we are the dump off. The water comes through our property straight from the south and it makes a sharp left turn. We have a barn and it makes a sharp right turn when it comes down through the barn and then it goes into a culvert across the road, and God bless you people over there because you are getting everything.”
She said the rain runoff has been tremendous ever since and keeps increasing every time it rains.
“Not only is it impacting our farmland, now because of backup it is also coming through the barn where we have livestock,” Geisler stated. She added that even though the ditch along her property has been cleaned out, the other ditch to the south has not been cleaned and it can’t handle the rainfall. As a result the water spreads out onto her farmland filling it up and causing culverts to form from erosion.
Winemiller asked Geisler to provide photos of the flooding so the city could look into addressing the problem.
Reach Ron Nunnari at 684-9124, via email Rnunnari@civitasmedia.com or on Twitter @Englewood_Ind