Construction to begin in July for Pilot Travel Center
By BROOKS TAYLOR
Mt. Pleasant News
Mt. Pleasant City Council members, meeting Wednesday night in regular session, removed the final hurdle from the path of a Pilot Travel Center on the city’s northeast side.
The council approved the center’s site plan. A day earlier, both the city’s board of adjustment and planning and zoning commission had affixed their stamp of approval on the site plan and related necessities.
“It is an excellent site plan, I was really impressed,” noted city Building & Zoning Administrator Jack Swarm.
Mayor Steve Brimhall said the travel center fills a need and desire in the community. “We’ve been trying to get a truck stop here for 10-15 years,” he said. “This is an extremely positive thing.”
The mayor also hinted that the travel center could be the first of several “wins” for Mt. Pleasant. “We have another prospect we will be dealing with soon,” the mayor announced. “We have a lot of things going on now and if some happen, we all will be happy.”
Pilot officials attending the meeting said they plan to begin construction on the center July 21 with hopes of being open by the end of the year. The center will also house an Arby’s Restaurant.
In other business, the council approved the second reading and waived the third of an ordinance amending grass mowing procedures. The ordinance will become effective upon publication in The Mt. Pleasant News.
Basically, the amendment shortens the procedure time for the issuance of citations for non-compliance.
“It shortens the timeperiod by allowing the posting of the notice instead of sending it by certified mail,” explained City Attorney Patrick Brau.
The nuisance notice can be placed on or near the front entrance of the residence or business, giving the property owner seven days to abate, prior to the city mowing the lot and assessing the cost to the property tax roll. The ordinance also affords the property owner an appeal process to the city administrator.
Grass height restrictions are not to exceed six inches in developed residential areas, undeveloped residential areas and business and industrial areas. In agricultural areas not exempted the other sections of city code, the grass cannot exceed 15 inches.
Council members approved an engineering services agreement with McClure Engineering Company to draft an airport master plan update. McClure will be paid $129,000 for its work with 90 percent of the cost funded by a grant from the Federal Aviation Agency.
“After we complete the master plan, we have to come up with a new plan,” City Administrator Brent Schleisman said. “It is nice to get 90 percent from the federal government,” Brimhall added.
Council members extended for another year the development agreement between Biomedical Synergies with the City of Mt. Pleasant.
The city entered into an agreement with the firm in 2010, giving the firm $36,000 in incentives to open a business in Mt. Pleasant. Biomedical had three years to open the business and provide up to 20 jobs.
However, the Affordable Care Act has slowed the medical industry and kept Biomedical, a firm headquartered in Wayzata, Minn., from opening a center in Mt. Pleasant.
In his letter to the city, Paul E. Kozloski, chairman and CEO of Biomedical, said, “…Please know that we have not, nor will we waiver from our original intentions. We sincerely apologize for the delay in meeting our objectives and would sincerely appreciate your consideration of an additional extension to our current agreement in order to reach a mutually beneficial solution…We look forward to the development of a long-term, mutually beneficial partnership.”
Finally, the council approved mayor appointments of Paul Tinder to the historic preservation commission; Brian Carter, Don Leblanc and Martha Hayes to the library board; Tabby Schimmelfenning and Kent White to the park and recreation advisory board; and Mandy Borchers to the park and recreation board.
Tinder replaces the late Don Young on the historic preservation commission; Hayes, Carter and Leblanc will serve six-year terms on the library board; Schimmelfenning and White are re-appointments to three-year terms on the park and recreation advisory board; and Borchers will serve a three-year term on the park and recreation board, replacing Shawn Moffett.
Council members meet again in regular session Wednesday, June 25, at 5:30 p.m. in City Hall.