Conservationists outline how truck stop could impact Marion Co. drinking water

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A lot of yelling could be heard at a meeting for a development that could have an impact on Marion County’s water supply Tuesday night.  Neighbors said they don’t want a truck stop built off an exit along Interstate 69 in Ingalls and now conservationists are weighing in on the debate.

There was no shortage of shouting at the latest meeting in Ingalls.

“We are adjourned,” said an officer at the meeting.  “We are done.  Everybody out.”

Seventy-five people were allowed in while everyone else waited outside.  After the vote, and the uproar that followed, Love’s Travel Center was one step closer to happening.

“I do not think there was anyone in the meeting that was for it,” said resident Corey Mitchem.

Mitchem lives in the Summer Lake neighborhood.  It is just across the street, and just across the town line, in Pendleton.  People in his neighborhood worry what a truck stop, taking up 14 acres, will bring to their community of roughly 3,000 people.

“Coming in and voicing our opinion, it just does not seem valuable to them,” said Mitchem.  “They are going to do what they are going to do.”

The people from Summer Lake brought their petitions, but since they did not officially live in Ingalls, they were not allowed to speak.

“You do not make decisions if you are not in town, and they were invited and they refused,” said Georgia C. Parks with the town of Ingalls.

Another construction concern is water runoff.  Conservationists said if safety steps are not taken, gasoline and oil from the pavement of the Love’s Travel Center could wind up in Thorpe Creek, eventually flowing south into Geist Reservoir.

“It is really to reduce the runoff of contaminants, especially in large rain events,” said Scott Rodgers, Vice President and Founding Director of Geist Lake Coalition. “When you get 14 or 16 acres of concrete or asphalt that is really a concern.”

Rodgers said he is not for or against the project, he just wants to make sure the water is safe for the people who will wind up drinking it.

“I understand these folks have concerns,” said Frank Ille, Love’s Truck Stops Manager of Development.

Ille said he is working to get people excited about plans for the new the travel center.

“I want to talk to them,” said Ille.  “We always want to be a good corporate neighbor, we always do.  I would like to talk to those folks and answer some of their concerns.”

Mitchem said it will be a tough sell.

“No, I do not think it is a good idea at all,” said Mitchem.  “With our home values just now starting to come back up, I really think that is something that would bring them down.”

The water from Geist Reservoir feeds into the drinking water supply for a good portion of Marion County, so the steps taken in Ingalls could impact many more people.  Steps have been taken toward positive conversation between members of Love’s, and members of Summer Lake.

23 comments

  • gettingittogetheragain

    Summerlake residents have a Pendleton mailing address, but the neighborhood is an unincorporated area of Madison county. Ingalls has annexed nearly all of the land surrounding Summerlake. Ingalls town council members have acknowledged not wanting to annex the neighborhood because they don’t want to have to acknowledge our opinions. The population of Summerlake is approximately 10 times the population of Ingalls. People in the town of Ingalls would not have to deal with the traffic, noise, and pollution like we will. We are not represented by anyone and will suffer because of it.

  • ej2419

    So is the truck stop that's on the other side of the interstate polluting the water? What about all the pesticides and herbicides that the farmers spread all over the field that surround Summerlake? Those must be polluting the water too. Geist is already polluted toliet and people in Summerlake don't have a leg to stand on. Good luck folks

  • Commenter2013

    As a resident of Summerlake, I too oppose the construction of the truck stop. The proposed building site is directly across the street from the subdivision and proposes not only environmental risks but risks to children's safety, with the inevitable increase in truck traffic. The fact that Ingalls has not annexed the subdivision (which I might add, when we were building our home nearly 10 years ago, was portrayed as imminent) and refuses to hear the concerns of the only ACTUAL residential neighbors shows not only tremendous arrogance, but deplorable management. The town of Ingalls is rushing to complete this deal, which will surely increase their paltry tax-revenues, before they take any formal steps to annex the subdivison, for the simple reason that, once annexed, the residents of Summerlake would become the majority in Ingalls and would be able to formally protest the construction. For any interested parties, I'd suggest looking at a map of the town of Ingalls, along with a map showing the land they've annexed around the subdivision, for a pretty compelling pictorial demonstration of why the current residents of the town, have no regard for the Summerlake homeowners concerns — it's nowhere near THEIR backyard.

  • heather kelly

    I also live in Summerlake and am opposed to the development of another Truck Stop. I find it laughable that the Town of Ingalls won’t listen to what the residents of Summerlake have to say especially when we have the Ingalls Police in our nneighborhood on a daily basis stopping and ticketing residents for not making complete stops at stop signs. They sure don’t mind taking our money for that!

    • Yup

      Except police officers can ticket just about anywhere they want, they're not confined to Ingalls alone.

  • Woodman

    That Ingalls Police officer is paid by the HOA to sit there. $18k a year, and he can't ticket since he isn't on duty. He gives warnings.

    • LOL

      police officers do not have to be on duty to enforce the law, write tickets, or arrest people. Read your Indiana Code!!

      • A Neighbor

        Actually the HOA doesn't pay property taxes. Plus that property was CP Morgan's when it went up for auction. They failed to turn it over to Summer Lake. The county should have known better before they put it up for auction.

  • ClanSmokeJaguar

    I get the feeling the conservation argument is a red herring from the central issue everyone is concerned about: Property values. Who wants a loud, busy, and large truck stop next to their community?

    On the other hand, budgets are tight. What municipality will NOT want another source of taxes in its borders?

  • Guest

    Summerlake is a high density, pre-fab housing addition that is not part of Ingalls, Indiana. Many homeowners who bought these homes sought refuge from the city but wanted all the conveniences with the interchange nearby. The town of Ingalls does not want your input in their community or you would have been annexed by now.
    The highway systems throughout the country bring growth and progress to every area where it passes. If you are against the growth and progress you should have stayed away from the interchange.
    Time to sell. Oh, I forgot, these are CP Morgan built homes. Their resale value is half of what was paid for them. Summerlake is a glorified trailer park.

  • Anonymous

    Ingalls does not care about the residents of Summer Lake. They don’t care about the people of their own town either. The members on the town council are more worried about padding their own pockets. The more income they can bring to the town, the more money they can make for themselves. They just gave themselves a 5% raise when the rest of the world is suffering from the economic crisis and have another 5% on the table for a vote very soon (but are behind on paying the town’s water bill). They also have board members who hold more than one seat (park board president, town council member, building inspector) and collecting an income for each of these positions. Not to mention a board member is married to the police chief so all of the police officers got brand new cars that we see being used for personal use such as driving to Sam’s Club in Fishers among other places. I encourage residents to attend the monthly town board meetings and it will become quite obvious that there are more problems in Ingalls than just this truck stop!

    • Anonymous

      Wow, did not know how corrupt Ingalls has become. I , for one, will be at all of the meetings from now on.

  • Anonymous

    Thanks to FOX 59 for covering our story. Anyone who is against the new truck stop should immediately get yard signs up. We need to blanket the community of Summerlake with them. We should fill them with sayings such as "No love for Love's Travel Center" or something of the kind. We should make them all the colors of Love's signs and show how overwhelming our opposition is to the idea. I believe that if 90% of the homeowners have these signs out and the media coverage continues that we may raise enough negative publicity to sour the companies willingness to go foward.

    • Summerlake resident

      I actually think this would be a great idea! Think about the media attention from that! lol If you are on facebook, look up No Love for Love's, and post this idea in there. I would be for it. Oh, and I'll bet Summerlake would get annexed after the Loves station gets the final OK, don't you. =-) I'll bet that's how it goes.

  • Carol

    As a Summerlake resident one of my biggest concerns would be the safety of my kids alone with the others that live here. Anyone that would be at that truck stop would be able to use binoculars and watch us at the pool/playground and also into our backyards.

  • Cindy

    As a homeowner of 7 years in Summerlake I do not want Love's to build their Truckstop/Semi Truck Repair Shop across the road. It's just not what is best for the families and children that work hard to make a nice home for themselves out here. We know that they have a business to run but that should never cause harm to honest, hardworking citizens. Our children are relatively safe out here and the crime element, prostitution, transient population that a HUGE facility like that one would bring to our doorstep is unconscionable on the Part of LOVES. Build it if you must but NOT HERE. Over 800 homes here and I have yet to hear even one homeowner support this building location. I agree that we should contact the people making this decision without our input and let them know. How about your state representative? I don't know but I am for the signs…..You can certainly put a house sized one in my front yard! You don't build a business like that next to a community like ours. If you have not been out here and don't know the layout or the logistics of this situation…google it. Be informed.

  • No Loves

    I think it is pretty good that a Ingalls town council member goes on camera and does not know what she is talking about, which concerns her town. She gets firm about the residence in Summerlake not having a vote and they had an opportunity to be annexed. That is not true. We have never been given an opportunity to fight. There has never been a vote, so I have never been able to make a choice to be in the town or not.
    She is for the truck stop because she does not live in Summerlake. It may go as far as being for it so they can "show us."

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