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Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers clear hurdle
Aug 25, 2004 12:00 am
With several stipulations placed on the construction site for a heavy equipment auction company, Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers cleared its first hurdle regarding its site plan Tuesday.
Lebanon Planning Commission approved the site plan Tuesday night after a lengthy discussion and several contingencies being added to the plan. Contengencies included paving the travelways through the storage area, treating the gravel with a dust-control chemical every five years or as often as deemed necessary by city engineers and improving the road further if auctions increase to eight sales in a 12-month period. Auctioneers speakers and lights must be directed away from the residential areas, and an appropriate warning sign musat be placed on the roadside to alert motorists about trucks entering the highway.
Rob Porter, the project's engineer, countered each stipulation with the promises the Canadian-based company has made.
"Their business is to sell equipment and wash the equipment," he said. "So they've committed to use a dust-control system when they operate. And the treatment will be there all the time."
Ritchie Bros. also commited to widening Leeville Road from its presents status with no shoulders to 12-foot lanes with shoulders, Porter told Lebanon planners.
Ritchie Bros. Construction Project Manager Tim Kander piped in the company usually hires local law enforcement officials to control traffic during sale days.
"It's standard procedure," he said. "And we also hire our own emergency staff. That way if something does happen on our site, we do not have to worry about response time."
Lebanon Planning Commissioner Ray Cravens, however, voiced concern over the parking situation he observed at a Ritchie Bros. facility in Georgia. He said customers were parking wherever they wanted.
Kander agreed the parking at the Georgia facility was inadequate, but it is not the case for the proposed Lebanon facility. Porter told planners more than 800 parking spaces will be available in Lebanon.
Commission member Jan Mangrum then questioned the procedure the auction company uses if more buyers turn up than expected.
"What if during a super sale 100 more cars come in?" she asked. "What do you do? Do you turn them away?"
Kander said the company doesn't have a plan yet, but has off-site parking at other facilities and shuttles customers to the facility.
Despite each stipulation and reservation calmly countered by Porter and Kander, Lebanon planners unanimously approved Ritchie Bros.' site plan with the contingenicies Tuesday.
Kander believes the company and city are making progress toward a plan both can agree to, but noted the plan is subject to his board of directors' final approval.
"Ritchie Bros. is committed to building a site in Middle Tennessee and in the City of Lebanon and has been for over four years," the construction project manager said. "And we're going to do what is necessary to make this project a success."
Larry Binion, a nearby resident who has fought against the auction company with his neighbors, said the road and traffic is still a major concern. But he believes the planning commission is working for him and his neighbors.
"The mayor has got a lot of stuff that needs to be fixed and they are taking care of it," he said following the meeting.