WATERLOO — A major industrial project in the Northeast Industrial Park has won the favor of neighbors.
Waterloo City Council members voted 6-0 Monday to approve the second of three readings for a site plan for Con-Trol container systems’ planned 204,000-square-foot warehouse, office and maintenance facility.
Homeowners living west of the project voiced concerns last week because they feared the project would dump even more semi-tractor trailer truck traffic on Newell Street instead of the preferred route on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.
Councilman Pat Morrissey had voted against the site plan last week based on the neighbors’ concerns.
But there was no opposition this week after project engineers MMS Consulting assured residents trucks using the facility would be prevented from traveling west on Newell. The trucks would be going east on Newell to the John Deere tractor assembly plant.
“MMS Consulting and Con-Trol kind of took it upon themselves and they listened to the neighbors and they made some changes,” said resident Ann Olsson. “After the City Council meeting last week, they went over the changes with us, and we were quite happy with them.
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“I want to publicly thank them for listening to the neighbors, paying attention and making those changes to the point that we can actually approve what they’re doing now without any concerns,” she said.
Jim Ellis, of MMS Consulting, said truckers coming to and leaving the Con-Trol facility would be informed not to use Newell Street west of the plant.
“The design of Newell Street isn’t to promote left-turn traffic out of the facility,” Ellis said. “Left turns for trucks would be prohibited out of the facility.
“We’re still looking at the potential access onto Martin Luther King, but that’s just an option at this point,” he added.
Ann and Jons Olsson both encouraged council members to continue discussing the current issues Newell Street residents are having with large truck traffic and speeding motorists.
The third and final vote on the site plan, which also includes the possibility of 210,000 square feet of future buildings, is expected next week.
Meanwhile, the City Council applied for a $1.1 million grant from the Iowa Department of Transportation’s Revitalize Iowa’s Sound Economy, or RISE, program to help make improvements to Newell related to the Con-Trol project.