Multimedia Journalist

Stormwater project to bring changes to Centertown

CENTERTOWN — The village will soon begin work on a stormwater improvement project.

Tammy Kauffman, owner of Tammy’s Restaurant in Centertown, brought up the issue of rainwater gathering under her business to the board in May 2017.

In February 2018, the board voted to apply for a Cole County Commission grant and was awarded $200,000 in September.

In a special meeting Wednesday, representatives from Bartlett & West presented two options for the project to the Centertown Board of Trustees.

The board voted 3-1 Wednesday to approve a project that includes a curb to guide water to a drain down Monroe Street, as well as a one-way route and angled parking.

Chairman Celine Whitaker and trustees Adam Brown and Sherry Kempf voted to approve the project, and Paula Hinshaw voted against it. Trustee Heather Hunger was absent.

“Personally I don’t think it’s the best plan, but it’s the most agreeable,” Brown said.

Limiting the amount of construction disrupting the business was Kauffman’s concern, Kempf said.

“She’s one of the few business you have in town that generate revenue and income,” Kempf said.

The adopted plan outlines angled parking in front of Tammy’s Restaurant and behind those spots on Main Street. The parking spaces will be 28 feet to accommodate larger vehicles.

A regulated parking space for people with disabilities will also be included.

The alternative option presented included a proposed sidewalk on the Main Street side, with large parallel parking spots, the drain and a new ramp entry to the restaurant.

“I just never see that being such a pedestrian-busy place,” Kempf said. “We don’t have sidewalks that connect to 90 percent of this town.”

Hinshaw voted against the angled-parking option because she would prefer the city gain the sidewalk and not turn the street into a one-way.

“I think it’s a big mistake to choose a plan based on what the business owner wants rather than what’s best for the community,” Hinshaw said.

Dillon Feely of Barlett & West also said he was concerned with making the street a one-way.

“Most of the towns in this area don’t have many one-way streets, and I think that there are driver expectations that you think that most streets are two-way,” Feely said.

Main Street west of Monroe Street to Route NN will become one-way under the approved plan.

Bartlett & West PE Gary Davis said the route would be safer with this change.

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