The Herald Bulletin

May 16, 2013

Love’s truck stop to be subject of public meeting tonight in Summerlake

Residents worried about crime and pollution

By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin

ANDERSON, Ind. — Representatives from Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores are scheduled to meet with Summerlake residents tonight to hear their concerns about the proposed truck stop at Interstate 69 and Indiana 13.

The meeting will be at Grandview Church of the Brethren, 9064 W. Grandview Blvd., and will begin at 7 p.m.

The Oklahoma-based company wants to invest about $9 million in the project, which will include a gas station and convenience store, truck wash, parking for large trucks and two restaurants, a McDonald’s and Chester Chicken.

Summerlake residents generally oppose Love’s proposed truck stop because they fear it will lead to higher crime, pollution, noise and traffic in their neighborhood.

Love’s executives proposed the meeting after two emotional meetings of the Plan Commission.

“I think this meeting will primarily be a presentation by Love’s of the things they do to keep people safe,” said Erin Jones, a Summerlake resident who opposes the project.

She would like Ingalls town officials to reject the company’s planned development because she thinks another type of commercial development would be more appropriate.

Short of that, however, she hopes community residents will be able to convince town officials to require Love’s to enhance screening and address light and noise pollution issues.

Dennis Ashley, another community resident, said one of the frustrations is that people don’t feel town planning officials have listened to their concerns.

“I think this is an exercise for Love’s,” Ashley said.

However, if the company wants to maintain its reputation of being a good corporate citizen, it will listen to concerns raised by Summerlake residents, he said. “They need to give people a chance to be heard, whether it’s negative or positive.”

Local residents aren’t the only ones worried about the truck stop.

The Geist/Fall Creek Watershed Alliance is concerned about contamination of Thorpe Creek, which is one of the major streams that feeds Geist Reservoir.

The alliance has asked the plan commission to require Love’s to implement special stormwater control measures that would remove hydrocarbons and other automotive-related pollution from storm runoff before that water is discharged into the creek.

Ingalls Clerk/Treasurer Kip Golden said the company is refining its infrastructure, and detailed engineering plans, and expects those to be reviewed at a plan commission meeting in June.

Find Stu Hirsch on Facebook and @StuHirsch on Twitter, or call 640-4861.