By Joe Bachman
The Planning Commission heard public concern on Monday night regarding a request to build a new Kwik-Trip on the corner of Lincoln St. and Riverview Expressway.
Slated for development in the unused property in between 6th St. South and Lincoln St. will be a Kwik Trip and car wash, opened 24 hours a day. Public concerns from nearby homeowners in the area originated mostly from residents on Dewey St., and concerns ranged from a noisy carwash, litter, bright lights, loitering, outside music, and an increase of traffic in the area.
“We’d be happy to partner with the city in terms of stop signs, crosswalks, — to make sure it’s safe for folks in the neighborhood,” said Troy Mleziva, realtor for Kwik-Trip Stores. “We want to be a partner in the neighborhood to make sure that we’re a safe place to access.”
Kwik-Trip already has three locations in the Wisconsin Rapids area, at 2520 W. Grand Ave., 3030 Plover Rd., and 4611 8th St. South. Still, many residents weren’t convinced that the traffic concerns wouldn’t be an issue, as a second entrance to the proposed location sees a driveway out to 6th St. This, according to Dewey St. residents, is cause for concern in regards to unsafe traffic conditions.
“Service trucks are going to come down 6th St., and the’re going to have to stop and make a turn, and that creates more noise,” said Dewey St. resident Lee Steinhilber in concern over delivery trucks at all hours of the night. “Dewey St. runs from Riverview Hospital across 8th St., and I can’t envision the traffic that’s going to be there once this opens.”
Ultimately, the motion was unanimously approved to push forward plans on the development of a new Kwik-Trip, but with multiple conditions. These conditions include limiting the hours in which the car wash is available, limiting the music that plays overhead at the gas pumps, and the planting of evergreen and spruce trees along Dewey St. to block light pollution for those residents.
“I certainly appreciate all of the feedback, because development obviously has consequences and impact,” said Mayor Zach Vruwink. “The beautiful thing about this process in the public hearing is that we get to listen, and we get to take that input — we’re in a unique situation where we have the opportunity to impose conditions — for many businesses on 8th St., we don’t get that luxury.”
The motion was unanimously approved by the planning commission, and will see final discussion by common council on May 17.