East William Street will be in the spotlight at tonight’s City Council meeting.
First, city engineer Bill Ferrigno will discuss a project to improve East William Street that includes a center turn lane.
The project would widen East William from Lake Street to the Point intersection,”to accommodate increasing traffic volumes, turning movements and signal operations,” states the city’s capital improvement program. It would also replace the Springfield Branch Bikepath Bridge over U.S. 36 “to accommodate a wider east approach to the U.S. 36 and Lake Street intersection, and better turning radius.”
The city estimates construction on the $3.95 million project would begin in 2019.
The public will get to review the project and provide input at an open house from 5 to 7 p.m. Feb. 29 at Conger Elementary School.
There will also be a public hearing on a possible auto repair shop at a former gas station on the corner of William and Little streets.
The building at 147 E. William St. was constructed in 1964 and sits in front of an Auto Zone automobile parts store. It was last a Shell Oil gas station that closed in 2005. The gas pumps, underground fuel tanks and canopy have been removed, and the building has been vacant for more than 10 years.
The 1/3-acre site has been called an eyesore.
Business partners Dan McCann and Liz Sickinger want to put a business called Garage 26 at the site, which could open as early as April.
“It’s going to be a little more upscale than a typical repair shop,” McCann said during a City Planning Commission meeting earlier this month. “I don’t like things looking sloppy.”
“Basic light mechanical services will be offered, such as oil changes, tune-ups, and minor mechanical repairs,” the city staff report said of the proposed Garage 26. “No body work, heavy repairs or other services that might generate excessive noise for the surrounding properties will be performed.”
The applicants are seeking a conditional use permit for the property, which is zoned as a community business district. The staff report said an “automotive services facility” was a permitted use. The report recommended approval of the permit, with the condition that no outdoor automotive servicing will be allowed.
The staff report said employee parking will be in the rear of the building; repaired vehicles would be parked on the west side of the site; and customer vehicles awaiting service or pick-up could be parked outside.
The planning commission unanimously approved the conditional use permit.
The meeting begins at 7 p.m. today in City Hall, 1 S. Sandusky St., with the public hearing at 7:30 p.m.
Gary Budzak may be reached at 740-413-0904 or on Twitter @GaryBudzak.