MIAMI COUNTY — A site investigation recently completed on land owned by the Board of Miami County Commissioners revealed it would cost approximately $2 million to prepare the location for the development of a new One Stop Shop, including approximately $1 million worth of improvements to the roadway and $1 million worth of improvements to the site prior to the construction of the building.
In October, the commissioners approved an agreement with Choice One Engineering of Sidney to provide professional design and engineering services for the proposed new One Stop Shop building site, also being referred to as the One Stop Shop investigation project. The cost was approximately $5,940.
The site investigation will look at the board-owned property located at the northwest corner of Lytle Road and County Road 25-A as a possible site to locate a new One Stop Shop due to concerns about parking, traffic, and maintenance at the current location. The new One Stop Shop would house the entities currently located at the One Stop Shop off of Experiment Farm Road in Troy, such as the Miami County Auto Title Department and the Deputy Registrar License Agency.
According to Choice One Engineering’s report, proposed One Stop Shop site would require approximately 5 acres for the architectural concept plan. The site would also “need to accommodate both large and small vehicle inspections, the large vehicle being a full size semi-tractor with 53-foot trailer.”
The property owned by the board that was considered for this site is approximately 67.473 acres and zoned for a floodplain. Approximately 44 acres of this land is currently in crop rotation, and the rest of the land is wooded or wetland not used in crop production.
Choice One Engineering considered two spots on that property for the proposed One Stop Shop, including one along Lytle Road and the other along County Road 25-A. They ruled out the portion of the property along County Road 25-A as the initial evaluation of it “revealed that the current building foot print and required number of parking stalls would not fit efficiently.”
The proposed One Stop Shop would also require roadway improvements to accommodate an increase in traffic that the site would cause. The improvements would have to be on both Lytle Road and at the intersection of Lytle Road and County Road 25-A. Choice One Engineering provided a “worst case” scenario for the need roadway improvements, which would “include roadway widening and right-of-way acquisition on both Lytle and County Road 25-A. They also recommended conducting a traffic study to determine the final scope of any necessary roadway improvements if the commissioners decided to move forward with building the proposed One Stop Shop at this location.
Choice One Engineering’s report also noted the roadway improvements on Lytle Road and County Road 25-A “will benefit future development on the parcel.” There are “approximately 20 acres of open area between the east property line and wetland that can be developed into small industrial lots similar in size to the existing industrial lots on the south side of Lytle Road.”
The cost estimates provided included an estimate of approximately $1,091,910 for improvements to the site to develop the One Stop Shop and an estimate of approximately $1,186,418 for the “worst case” roadway improvements.
It is still up in the air if the commissioners will pursue this site for the new One Stop Shop due to the cost to improve the site and the state being unable to commit to a long contract to house its agencies there.
In a recent interview, commissioner Jack Evans said these improvements would have to be made “before we ever put a shovel in the ground.” Evans estimated the entire project of constructing a new One Stop Shop that location could be upwards of $7 million with the cost of a $5-6 million building in order to make it large enough to house these agencies.
Evans expressed concern about the state agencies that would be housed here only being able to commit to a three-year contract, suggesting the county would like the state to commit to more longevity at the proposed site if the county was to build it.
“Do I want to saddle the taxpayers of Miami County with potentially a $6 million project that they have to fund? I have a problem with that,” Evans said. “And I understand some of the constraints the state has but I think a little more support in terms of what they forsee would certainly help.” Evans said the governor could change those constraints.
Commissioner Greg Simmons also expressed concerns about the cost to prepare the site for development, saying in a recent interview, “We may be looking elsewhere.”