On Monday, October 4th, disappointed with the Plymouth City Council’s decision to not add the Veterans Parkway extension on the TIF District list, the Marshall County Commissioners took the project off the table.
Kevin Overmyer, President of the County Commissioners said, “It’s disappointing that the City Council voted 5-2 not to move forward with Veterans Parkway. My thanks to Mayor Senter, Sean Surrisi, Duane Culp and Greg Compton for seeing the importance of this project.”
Overmyer continued his statement saying, “When U.S. 31 was going to be a limited access freeway the county started working with partners up and down the corridor. Mayors Jim and then Bonnie Yeazel, Gary Cook and the past city council saw the need for the roadway. There would have been only two access points into Plymouth, U. S. 30 and Highway 6. The public’s safety was at the forefront given the fact of only two accesses. Then Congressman Joe Donnelly garnered $500,000 for this project. The money funded the engineering from U.S. 31 to Michigan Road and also the Environmental Impact Study for the entire corridor.”
Commissioner Overmyer talked about letters of support for Veterans Parkway from every town in Marshall County and every county from Hamilton County to Elkhart County supported the plan for Marshall County. He said the county invested the money in phase one of Veterans Parkway without any help from the City of Plymouth.
Overmyer spoke about 4A Road being closed off from U.S. 31 and the INDOT facility located there being relocated near the U.S. 20 Bypass in Saint Joseph County. He and Jerry Chavez, former director of the Marshall County Economic Development Corp. met with INDOT representatives and talked them into relocating on Jack Greenlee Drive with easy access to U.S. 30 and the future Veterans Parkway would give them access to U.S. 31.
Commissioner Overmyer then asked for a motion to take the Veterans Parkway Extension Project from Michigan Road to Pioneer Drive off the table. He said, “We will focus the county’s efforts in the future on bridges across the county.”
Overmyer continued, “I think that since they kinda killed this project, I’m not in favor of going to Oak Road. We have 112 to 114 bridges in the county, and I think we need to refocus ourselves on these bridges.” While Veterans Parkway has been on the county’s long range road plan that goes to 2030 with MACOG, he asked them to remove the road extension from the county’s plan.
Commissioner Mike Burroughs motioned to take Veterans Parkway Extension off the road plan and focus the county’s attention to bridge rehabilitations. Commissioner Stan Klotz seconded the motion, and it was unanimously approved.