By Joe Bachman
After weeks of debate and delay, a new Kwik Trip has finally been approved by the city under a conditional use agreement.
Development of a new Kwik Trip on the corner of Lincoln St. and E. Riverview Expressway was all but cemented on Tuesday night. Council members voted almost unanimously for the conditional use of the property by Kwik Trip to open what will be a fourth location in Wisconsin Rapids.
The decision still did not go without concern, as alderperson Tom Rayome expressed hesitation regarding the potential traffic issues this may cause in the area.
“Safety, safety, safety,” said Rayome. “I can’t believe the p.d. is in favor of this one.”
However, concerns of traffic have been addressed through a traffic impact analysis study, which is slated to finish in the coming weeks. The analysis will determine if any changes are needed in the area regarding intersection safety. Public Works Director Joe Terry specified the process for council members.
“Intersection is of paramount importance to safety and staff, and part of the conditional use requirements of this conditional use proposal is a traffic impact analysis by a professional engineering firm,” said Terry. “We can create our own speculations of what is safe — in this situation, I certainly hope that the council would trust professional engineers that have years of experience evaluating, deciding and assuring that intersections are built according to standards and safety.”
The traffic analysis is just one of 18 conditions put in place by the city for Kwik Trip to use the property for a new store. This includes adjusting the position of a car wash to face the expressway to reduce noise, limitations of hours of use, restrictions on outdoor music and the brightness of animated signs, and fencing along 6th St. and Dewey St. for privacy concerns by neighbors.
“There were 18 conditions that were posed on the project, which addressed all of the concerns related to the neighborhood, as well as concerns of public safety,” said Mayor Zach Vruwink. “They [Kwik Trip] have to comply with the conditions, meet development agreements and the traffic impact analysis that’s been conducted.”
The council voted in favor of the conditional use of the property by Kwik Trip in a 7-1 vote. Tom Rayome being the only vote against.