YORKVILLE — Plans to build a concrete batch plant for the I-94 north-south expansion project have encountered a hurdle.
The proposal was denied by both the Yorkville Town Board and the Plan Commission at a meeting on Monday night after multiple residents spoke out in opposition to the proposal at a public hearing, voicing concerns that included traffic congestion and health considerations.
Officials from Michels Corp., a national infrastructure and utility contractor with headquarters in Dodge County, presented the plan at the meeting at the Union Grove Municipal Center, saying that the batch plant would begin operation in April and end in late 2020, in accordance with the Wisconsin Department of Transportation schedule for the renovation project.
The plant was proposed to be a staging area for the interstate construction, which is related to the incoming Foxconn project. Up to 35 dump and semi-trailer trucks per hour are proposed to carry concrete and asphalt back and forth to the interstate during peak construction times.
The plant was proposed to be located at a vacant parcel of land immediately to the west of 14215 Two Mile Road in Yorkville. Yorkville 2000 PTSK, LLC, bought the parcel of land, which lies less than a mile away from the west side of I-94, for $1.4 million last month, according to state records.
“I believe that Yorkville needs to stay an agricultural, residential neighborhood,” Yorkville resident Carrie Bergs said at the hearing. “We are not opposed to growth, we are just opposed to this kind of growth.”
Michels Corp. proposed operation hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Friday. Company representatives said that 20 trucks would be in and out of the plant per hour during non-peak times of construction. Although they didn’t anticipate night or Saturday hours of operation, the representatives did say that it might be a possibility down the road.
“All of our equipment is portable,” said Bob Bingen of Michels Corp. “Once our paving process and the project is done, the plant will be removed.”
This didn’t seem to ease the minds of many Yorkville residents and Plan Commission and Town Board members. Steven Daily of the Town of Raymond Planning Commission was present at the meeting. Two Mile Road is the municipal boundary between Raymond and Yorkville. Daily said he is concerned that children with asthma in the community might be negatively impacted from the loads of dust that will be in the air because of the high amount of trucks leaving and entering the site.
“I was happy when they turned it down,” Daily said. “I live right down the road, and this is a rural community. It’s just the wrong place.”
Yorkville Town Supervisor Sherry Gruhn said that she doesn’t want neighboring businesses to be negatively affected because of the heavy traffic and noise concerns.
“I would hate to see anything happen to those business so that they would have any intentions of leaving Yorkville,” Gruhn said. “The negative impact on those businesses sound like substantial enough reasons as to why we should deny this request.”
Deb Lauenstein of Zoomlion Heavy Industry, which is located immediately west of the proposed plant at 14215 Two Mile Road, said that the loads of dust from the operation would have an adverse effect on some of her business’s heavy machinery.
“I don’t have anything against progress,” Lauenstein said. “But our business is very sensitive to anything they would propose.”
Michels Corp. representatives said that the crushing plant would be equipped with measures to control the amount of dust in the air, according to a report released to the Town Board. Measures to control noise were also included in the report.
Is it over?
According to Yorkville Town Clerk Michael McKinney, the Town Board and Plan Commission could act to reconsider this request, which would trigger a new public hearing. After another public hearing, the board and commission could overturn or reaffirm their denial.
The matter also is scheduled to be on the agenda of Monday’s meeting of the Racine County Economic Development and Land Use Planning Committee. But once either the county or town deny an application, the other body cannot override that decision.
Construction work for the Interstate 94 project began on March 7. The work will take place between Highway G in Racine County and Highway 142 in Kenosha County, according to the DOT.
Michels Corp. officials had no comment regarding the meeting.
“I believe that Yorkville needs to stay an agricultural, residential neighborhood. We are not opposed to growth, we are just opposed to this kind of growth.” Carrie Bergs, Yorkville resident