VANDALIA — The Vandalia City Council shot down a proposed gas station and convenience store at the corner of Helke and National Roads. The store would have required two variances to the city’s zoning code.
Council voted 5-0 to deny the variances. Council Member Dave Gerhard was absent and Vice Mayor Richard Herbst abstained. The city’s Board of Zoning Appeals voted to deny the request at its December meeting.
Casey’s General Store Fuel Station proposed to build the store on the former Church of Christ site on National Road directly across from a Shell station across Helke Road.
Catherine Cunningham, representing Casey’s, spoke in support of the project.
“This is a unique location given a traffic light, U.S. 40, and an airport across the street,” she said. She noted that the store would be 115 feet from the nearest residence and have large mounding and landscaping to buffer the property from the residential area.
“This is not about competition, competition is good for communities,” Cunningham said. “This is not your typical gas station” she said citing a sit-down restaurant. She also noted that the property has been vacant for many years.
Ryan Howard, COO of True North Shell, opposed the variances based on the city’s existing zoning code which prohibits a gasoline filling station within 500 feet of another gas station.
“We knew when we made our investment that these ordinances existed,” he said. Howard noted that True North spent nearly $2.5 million in purchasing and demolishing the former Friendly’s restaurant and building a new, larger store on the eastern corner of Helke and National Road.
In other action, council gave approval to the purchase of 15 sets of firefighter protective clothing at a cost of $29,400 from Phoenix Outfitters of Springfield. The purchase will replace clothing that is 7-10 years old, past the recommended five-year replacement recommendation of the National Fire Protection Association.
Three new police patrol utility vehicles will be purchased at a cost of $102,534. Beau Townsend Ford was the sole dealership to submit a bid out of 12 bid packets sent to dealerships that requested them. The Division of Police will also replace an unmarked vehicle by purchasing a Ford Taurus from Beau Townsend Ford at a cost of $23,700. Again, the dealership was the sole bidder.
The police department also got approval to replace six portable radios and and three mobile radios at a cost of $39,937.41 through the State of Ohio Cooperative Purchasing Program.
Council also approved its annual agreement with the Miami Valley Regional Crime Laboratoryat a cost of $29,696, a 10.3% increase.
The council also approved a $50,000 donation to the Vandalia Development Corportation, half of the budgeted amount for 2018. The memorandum from former Assistant City Manager Greg Shackelford said that the funds will support the “approvals of two recent grant approvals.”
The Vandalia City Council will hold its next regular meeting on Monday, February 5 at 7 p.m. A study session will be held prior to the meeting at a time to be announced. Both meetings are open to the public.
Reach Darrell Wacker at (937) 684-8983 or on Twitter @VandaliaDrummer.