Interchange beautification discussed by council

TIPP CITY — Four options for the interchange beautification of Exit 68 in Tipp City were discussed at a study session held prior to Tipp City Council’s Monday meeting.

“Our intent here was to come up with four options that kind of range in scale, both in design and in regard to pricing,” Artie Spaw, an architect with KZF Designs, said.

The first option is estimated at $690,000 and resembles the original concept design for the interchange beautification, with planting scaled back. The second option has similar planting to the first option but is more scaled back, with decorative planting by stoplights, and a budget of roughly $150,000. The third option introduces a hardscape component with stamped concrete and plantings, and is accented by stone, which would help with drainage. The third option would cost an estimated $400,000. The fourth option is similar to the third with stamped concrete, and it takes up more of the quadrant of the off-ramps. Scale-wise, it is bigger, and still incorporates decorative plantings.

“The square footage has roughly doubled, and the cost has, as well,” Spaw said in regard to the fourth option.

Mayor Joseph Gibson asked whether there was a preference for live materials as opposed to mulch. According to Spaw, they wanted to cover a range with the four options so that council would be able to pick and choose what they liked.

Councilmember Frank Scenna asked about the cost of each option and whether it had more to do with the design or not. Spaw clarified that the cost of each had more to do with square footage covered.

“I always want (something) as low maintenance as possible. That angle on the northbound off-ramp, by the Hickory River restaurant, that is a problem area. Weeds will grow, you’ve got thorns, cattails, all kinds of stuff, and visitors notice,” Gibson said.

Gibson asked about what materials KZF would use, mentioning that mulch could easily get washed away with heavy rainfall. Spaw said that this would not be an issue with ground cover and stamped concrete. He added that stamped concrete is common in interchange designs and that it is a durable surface.

Council discussed incorporating elements of the different options together in order to have the beautification along the exit ramps while reducing cost as much as possible. Gibson echoed wanting to eliminate plantlife along the northbound quadrant by Hickory River in order to cut down on added city maintenance that would be required to maintain additional plantlife.

“To me, it defeats the purpose, if you put a lot of plantlife out there — that’s what we have now, and it’s not looking so well. We have to pay somebody to go out there to (maintain) it, and that particular quadrant is so steep, I’m worried about injury down there,” Gibson said.

Shaw said that KZF would put together additional options combining elements from option one with option four, as well as option three with option four, and present those to council at a later date with new cost estimates.

Several ordinances, resolutions and a motion were unanimously passed at Monday’s council meeting, with little discussion held from council and no public comments:

• An ordinance to modify existing language in the Tipp City Code of Ordinances regarding the city’s Capital Improvement Program.

• An ordinance standardizing the summer sewer credit program being effective for the June through November billing periods.

• An ordinance authorizing the issuance of bond anticipation notes in an amount not to exceed $4,050,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of various public infrastructure projects.

• An ordinance authorizing the issuance of bond anticipation notes in an amount not to exceed $5,000,000 for the purpose of paying the costs of improving the Municipal Electric Utility by constructing the City’s Electric Substation No. 4 and related transmission line.

• A resolution adopting the 2021-2025 Capital Improvement Plan for the city of Tipp City as reviewed by council at its Oct. 12, 2020 workshop.

• A resolution authorizing the renewal of the Tipp-Monroe Community Services recreational programs contract for years 2020 and 2021 at a cost not to exceed $35,400.

• A motion to not require a public hearing on the issuance of a new D1 & D2 liquor license to Bella Sorella Pizza Co., LLC at 14 E. Main St.

The next Tipp City Council meeting will be held Monday, Nov. 16 at 7:30 p.m.