February 5, 2016

Council eliminates 167th Street as truck route

Danedri Thompson
Despite reaching a consensus on Jan. 21 to eliminate all truck routes within the city of Gardner, council members only mothballed one route, 167th Street, during a Feb. 3 meeting.
Public works director Brian Faust offered two different options to city council members during the meeting. One proposal would eliminate all routes but U.S. 56 Highway, or Main Street. The proposal would get rid of all other current routes, including Center Street or Gardner Road, Moonlight Road, 167th Street, and Madison Road. A second proposal would close 167th Street and Gardner Road north of Main Street to trucks.
Council member Larry Fotovich asked why city staff would bring forward an alternate plan after council had reached a consensus to close almost all roads to through truck traffic.
“What happened between the time we directed staff that now we have a new (proposal) here?” Fotvich asked. “We decided this was unanimous.”
Faust said there was additional information council members should consider. Specifically, he said eliminating 175th Street north of Interstate 35 as a truck route would not allow trucks leaving the Coleman Warehouse and potential future industrial developments there, to easily access 169 Highway. He also said limiting truck traffic may hurt businesses, like the Casey’s on Gardner Road.
Rob Laquet owns the Shell Station at Gardner Road and 191st Street.
“My concern is trucks not being able to get to my site,” Laquet told council members during public comment segment of the meeting.
Laquet said when the Shell Station was constructed 10 or 11 years ago, it was built to with thick asphalt and diesel pumps to accommodate truck traffic.
“If trucks can no longer come to my store, it will be very hard on my business,” he said.
Gardner Area Chamber of Commerce President Steve Devore also addressed the council. He said eliminating all truck routes would give the impression that Gardner is no longer open for business.
“We need more business to locate in Gardner. If you pass new truck routes as proposed, you’re saying you don’t want trucks in this town,” Devore said.
Devore warned that it would make it so UPS and postal trucks could not easily make deliveries in town. However, Fotovich said that was false.
Trucks of all sizes are allowed on any street when they are making local deliveries.
“A UPS driver has a reason for being in the city,” Fotovich said.
Council member Kristina Harrison initially agreed that the council should eliminate all routes except the state highway, or U.S. 56. She said following the work session on truck traffic, she spoke with business owners and residents. She also sat at Veteran’s Park on Gardner Road and watched traffic. She said no one she spoke to was concerned about truck traffic.
Fotovich said it’s only a matter of time until there is an accident involving a truck to make people concerned about the semi-truck traffic in town.
“Let’s let the entire city feel the effects of truck traffic and it will reach critical mass and you will hear about it,” Fotovich said.
Council members Fotovich and Steve Shute voted against keeping all existing routes with the exception of 167th Street and north of Main Street on Center Street as truck routes. The pair was overruled by council members Harrison, Heath Freeman, and Tory Roberts who voted to eliminate the two routes while keeping the rest.


  1. Judith Rogers says:

    Well, when the intermodal trucks start making the citizens’ lives miserable in so many ways, perhaps then citizens will not be voting for Harrison, Freeman & Roberts and having some big regrets for how they have voted in the past and for what they have enabled and supported. And Harrison, Freeman and Roberts have heard from me on more than one occasion say that I don’t want those intermodal trucks in the city of Gardner and I am a citizen – guess they have short memory problems ……cronyism government continues and the thieves continue to have a smile on their faces………..

    Step No. 2 will be when the Zimmer deal is back on the menu and these same Council members will be voting for those intermodal trucks to go west on 183rd St. from Gardner Rd. and again the smiles will be even bigger when Zimmer gets a 75% tax incentive or more to make citizens’ lives miserable and stuck with more costs to cover. And Zimmer and/or some other jokers could very well be asking the citizens to provide them with industrial revenue bonds to finance their building/buildings, etc. And I am sure the day is coming where the citizens will be called upon to pave Waverly Rd. for all of these thieves coming to this area but don’t want to pay their FULL TAXES or much of anything else for the needs of the community.

    You wheel and deal with the thieves, you pay thru the nose and will continue to pay and pay and pay and pay in so many ways. Those politicians and bureaucrats are putting the knife in the backs of average citizens every day of the week in my opinion.

    I sure would love to know about all of the phone calls/meetings made between these Council members and city staff, the Mayor and others on this issue of truck routes from the time of that work session or previously and there more than likely would be grounds for another violation of the Open Meetings Act but loving to know and knowing are two different things – that is when law enforcement/district attorney’s offices need to take over. I told anyone who wanted to listen that the trash truck issue was just a diversion to take the people’s minds off of trucks routes for intermodal trucks and to me it looks like I was spot on. The Mayor and the City Manager make up those Council meeting agendas and I would say their timing and subjects to be voted on should be real important to citizens in evaluating how they are serving citizens.. And again, I see the Chamber of Commerce not caring about the adverse affects of intermodal trucks to citizens within the city limits of Gardner – no surprise on that one since I have seen that attitude for years.

    The slimy sagas will continue and the biggest reason for that is because of citizen apathy and in some instances, citizens have also lost all of their moral values.

    These are my opinions and they come about with no surprises considering how I see our city government operates. This is not my first rodeo and I am sure it won’t be the last.

  2. marcopolo says:

    I call bull **** on this. How can one minute the consensus was decided to eliminate all truck routes except 56 hwy then for no good apparent reason it flipped. As for Kristina H doing her little survey by talking to business owners and sitting at the Veteran’s park observing and speaking to residents. Well guess what I live right by the Casey’s store and I don’t remember being asked if the truck’s were an issue. Yes they are a big issue. Ex: You can leave early in the morning and see trucks lined up on the exit ramps (clearly the signs state no parking). Then they throw out their urine filled jugs to be left on the side of the road. These city council members are a joke.

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