After an accumulated five hours of discussion — the council met for three hours last week to receive public comment on the request from ADM — the commission Monday night approved a set of eight restrictions they will recommend to the city council.
While the city council has final say on the approving the permit, as well as annexing the property, that likely won’t happen until August. Before the council receives the recommendation the plan commission has to approve the minutes of last night’s meeting, which is expected to take place during a meeting on July 15.
About 30 people were in attendance for the plan commission meeting, although the crowd thinned as the night wore on, particularly once it was clear the plan commission wouldn’t be hearing new comments from the public.
“This is a procedural thing. We closed the hearing process…we can’t accept any additional testimony, any additional comment,” said plan commission chairman Brent Barron .
The commission spent most of the two-hour meeting discussing the merits of potential restrictions and conditions they would like to place on the permit — as well as the occasional quick update on the score of the Chicago Blackhawks’ NHL championship game.
After about an hour and a half the commission members were try to decide if they should include language emphasizing that ADM must meet all relevant state and federal regulatory rules and laws. At that point commission member Alan Howarter moved to vote on the permit request.
“Let’s get it voted on and get out of here,” he said.
When his motion died for lack of a second Howarter walked out of the meeting.
Among the restrictions the commission considered was limiting the hours of operation for the terminal.
Considering the interests of neighboring residents, the commission agreed to set a 12-hour day (7 a.m.-7 p.m.) on Monday-Friday and a five-hour workday (7 a.m.-noon) on Saturday for the operation.
“I think that’s generous,” Barron said.
Despite the time spent on that discussion, Barron told the commission he doesn’t expect the council will actually approve that restriction.
Matthew Baker can be reached at (815) 220-6933, or email@example.com.