Knox Planning Commission members voted to hold a public hearing over a rezoning request on 250 E. when they met Tuesday evening.
Commission President Jim Strong reminded members that REMC is interested in installing a substation near the corner of 50 S. and 250 E. In order to do so, the company has to have a special use permit granted and the area would need to be rezoned from general commercial to heavy industrial.
Members are considering rezoning the east side of 250 E. from 250 S. up to Division Road.
Strong explained that the power generated at the substation would be supplied to county residents as the City of Knox is powered by NIPSCO.
Some residents who live in the area were present and voiced concerns about the potential rezoning.
The consensus among the citizens was the fact that there are already big trucks that utilize the road despite no truck signs and that switching to heavy industrial could increase that traffic.
The concerns appeared to be centered around the potential roadway damage that it could cause and the possible safety hazard it could pose to children who play in the residential yards nearby.
President Strong, who is also an Indiana State Police Trooper, said he would do what he could to ensure enforcement is being done in the area to address their current concerns with the presence of heavy trucks.
Planning commission officials also touched on the fact that REMC utilizes utility trucks, not semis and noted that while there may be some temporary increased traffic during the construction of the substation, once it’s up they shouldn’t see a significant difference. Commission President Strong referenced a substation that was put in on US 35 near Bennett’s Feed & Supply where there hasn’t been any noticeable change to traffic.
Community members will have a chance to learn more about the rezoning request when a public hearing is held over the matter.
Planning Administrator Kenny Pfost said the date and time still need to be set. More details about the hearing will be announced once they are determined.