Roads and railroad spurs will have a profound impact on how the Franksville Industrial Park expands, and the affects may be as far reaching as Four Mile Road.
The Village Board voiced opposition last week to the southern portion of a new route for Highway 38. But Ron Coutts, the Village President, told members of the CDA Tuesday that some neighbors living along Highway 38 want the project to go through because the believe part of the road is unsafe.
“There are a number of people who came forward that live along the existing Highway 38 who are in support of a new Highway 38,” Coutts said. Because those residents weren’t at the meeting earlier this month, Coutts said he invited them to speak at the Sept. 6 meeting.
Last week, the Village Board asked the Wisconsin Department of Transportation to consider doing only the northern part of the project, expand the existing roads – perhaps Nicholson Road and Four Mile, or Nicholson Road and Dunkelow Road – or do nothing. But if the Department of Transportation plan goes forward as is, the re-routed road would slice through farmland, and would slice through 80 acres of the business park, which they want to develop with the help of a tax incremental finance district.
Tom Lebak, the Village Administrator, said if the Department of Transportation changed the scope of the Highway 38 project and expanded Four Mile Road, the TIF district project plan could be altered.
John Shannon, a CDA member, took issue with widening Nicholson and Dunkelow roads because the road would cut through a growing residential area that also has a lot of children nearby.
“It’s not a preferred truck route,” he said.
With regards to railroad spurs, Shannon questioned how much space the spurs would need for right-of-way access.
Gordy Kacala, the executive director for the Racine County Economic Development Corporation, said the company they are working with that might move to the business park is already aware of the need to cover the costs of those acquisitions.
Officials with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation have not made a decision on the Highway 38 project. But with the project having been on the Village’s planning maps for years, Jim Dobbs, a Village Board member, said he’s talked with a number of property owners who would like the Village to “just make a decision.”